Only two Suffolk MPs vote on pay rise

JUST two of Suffolk's seven MPs took part in a controversial vote on their own pay which has seen them handed a 2.25 per cent deal, it emerged today.

Neil Puffett

JUST two of Suffolk's seven MPs took part in a controversial vote on their own pay which has seen them handed a 2.25 per cent deal, it emerged today.

The decision on the deal was taken after a back bench bid to push through a 2.3 pc raise this year and followed by a 4.7pc raise next year was voted down by members.

Ipswich MP Chris Mole and Waveney MP Bob Blizzard both voted against the larger rise with Mr Mole saying it is important for MPs to lead by example in the current economic climate.


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He said: “MPs have a role to play in giving a lead on wages given the state of the economy in general and the need for pay restraint.”

The county's four Tory MPs abstained from the vote with both South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo and Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley arguing it is wrong for MPs to vote on their own pay.

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Mr Yeo said: “I share the view quite widely held that it's wrong for MPs to vote on their own pay and that extends to allowances.

“I think we should allow an outside body to decide what expenses and allowances we get and the logic of that is not to vote on the issue.”

Mr Ruffley said: “I think it is quite wrong in this day and age that MPs vote on their own pay and conditions.

“The public does not like MPs voting in this way so I decided to abstain on principle. My view is that MPs pay and conditions should be set by a single body that sets the pay and conditions of the military and judges.”

It will be the last time MPs debate and vote on their own pay rise after they agreed to link future increases to those given to other public sector workers like doctors and teachers.

Despite accepting a lower pay award, MPs did last night vote to retain the controversial additional costs allowance (ACA) to fund second homes in London and to have their spending audited only by internal auditors.

The ACA includes the so-called “John Lewis” list which includes acceptable prices for items to kit out MPs second homes.

Chris Mole voted against retention of the ACA while Bob Blizzard voted to keep the system in place.

- Are MPs paid enough or alternatively are they paid too much? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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