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Thursday 4th
posted by Luke James in Britain

MPs say they won’t accept extra £7,000

LABOUR acting leader Harriet Harman and three leadership hopefuls yesterday ruled out accepting a 10 per cent pay rise planned for MPs.

A party spokeswoman said she would be “very surprised” if Ms Harman accepted the £7,000 raise being proposed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, who had previously branded the plan “unacceptable,” has now agreed to the top-up, which takes MPs’ annual pay to £74,000.

But Ms Harman’s declared her opposition in a clash with Mr Cameron at the first Prime Minister’s questions of the new Parliament.

She had demanded to know what benefits would be cut as part of Tory plans to slash welfare spending by £12 billion.

A Labour source said on Tuesday that it “didn’t seem right” for MPs to get a pay rise while people struggle.

Asked whether Ms Harman would reject the cash, her spokeswoman added: “I would be very surprised, given that as current leader of the party she has made it very clear that she thinks it’s unnacceptable for MPs to have a rise in their take-home pay.”

That means Ms Harman becomes the fourth senior Labour figure to publicly state their rejection of the rise.

All three frontrunners in Labour’s leadership race Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall ruled out accepting the pay rise yesterday.

“I have always been clear that 10 per cent pay rise for MPs cannot be justified,” Mr Burnham wrote on Twitter. “I won’t accept it. Will turn down at source or give to local groups.”

A spokeswoman for Ms Cooper said: “She thinks Ipsa should withdraw it and the Prime Minister should step in to prevent it.”

GMB blasted the hypocrisy of Mr Cameron’s support for the raise after the government blocked a mere 1 per cent pay rise for public-sector workers last year.

His spokesman said yesterday that Mr Cameron would not stop it because MPs’ salaries were set by an independent body.

He had no answer when it was pointed out that the public-sector pay rise was also proposed by an independent body.

Labour deputy leadership candidate Stella Creasy also rejected the rise.