Sunderland councillors respond to MP wage increase

Members of Parliament are to receive a pay rise of 3.1%, bringing wages up to £82,000 per year in some cases.

They will also receive a larger expenses amount, to financially support staff members in their parliamentary offices.

Sunderland Labour Councillor, Dom Armstrong, expressed his concerns over the pay increase for MPs:

“As councillors we have all recently voted to reduce the allowances paid out in Sunderland. Nationally, the MPs seem to have a system set in place that consistently rewards them well above inflation.”

The latest increase in MP wages comes after approval from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Approved by IPSA, the wage increase comes at a time when Consumer Price Index inflation has risen by 1.8%.

Councillor Armstrong added: “I think it’s shocking to be honest. It all needs seriously reviewing in my opinion.”

The rise in wages for Members of Parliament is not without its support in Sunderland council however.
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group on the Council, Antony Mullen, welcomed the increase in pay for MPs:

“It is right that they have received a pay increase to reflect the fact they work extremely long hours, have to live in two parts of the country and do a very serious job.”

Councillor Mullen recognised the pay increase as an incentive for individuals to leave the private sector and join parliament: “If we are to encourage the best and brightest to leave the private sector for parliament, the pay must be attractive enough for that to happen.”

“The risk of paying them too little is they would need to work second jobs to sustain their lifestyle.”

In a statement released by IPSA chairman Richard Lloyd, the pay increase was due to: “demands on MPs’ offices, with staff doing difficult and stressful casework with constituents on a very wide range of problems.”

As MP wages rise, Sunderland Council has announced a new plan to raise council tax by 3.99% in the 2020/21 spending plans.

Sunderland MP Julie Elliot was contacted for a comment, but no reply was received.

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