December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Hunter
Monday, September 16, 2013
A Suffolk MP has defended giving his mother a modest pay rise of around £1,500 after she was promoted to a new role.
Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said his mother, Carol, was now on the “lower reaches” of a pay band between £35,000-£39,999 for her new position as office manager.
She was promoted when Mr Poulter became a junior health minister in September 2012.
Dr Poulter said she had a “really good work ethic” and was someone he could “count on”.
“She has worked for MPs for 22 years and took a pay cut to work for me as senior case worker,” Dr Poulter said.
“I was very lucky that she was prepared to reduce her salary, which was almost £50,000.
“I have not had a single letter or communication from my constituents about it. Many of them deal with her directly.
“When she was a case worker working with local authorities she put in 11 to 12 hour days.
“If some news comes up late, I have got somebody prepared to work longer hours and go the extra mile.”
The pay rise was revealed as the latest figures on how much MPs claim in expenses and staffing costs were released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).
IPSA was setup to monitor how much is claimed by MPs following the expenses scandal.
Dr Poulter’s total claim for staff payments for 2012/13 was £123,213.
He said he was one of many MPs who employ family members at a time when their role had “highly changed”.
“The role of an MP in the last 10 to 15 years was very different to what it is now,” Dr Poulter said.
“I think it is remarkable that the costs have been kept down given the increased demands.”
He said his office regularly receives “200 e-mails” a day and said the majority of MPs “worked very hard”.
Dr Poulter argued that counterparts in the USA and Australia were supported by bigger teams than British MPs.