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PM hints at scrapping Ipsa in pay dispute

The Prime Minister has signalled he is prepared to scrap the independent body set up to take MPs wages out of political hands if it presses ahead with plans for inflation-busting pay rises.

As the row over a proposed 11% increase intensified yesterday, David Cameron said he could rule "nothing out" and urged the ­Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) to "think again".

The body has two years between today's interim report and its final recommendation in 2015, after the next general election.

All three party leaders have slammed the expected proposals, at a time when public sector wages are being cut in real terms.

Mr Cameron said it was "simply unacceptable" that Ipsa continued to insist on members' salaries increasing by £7600 to £74,000.

At Prime Minister's Questions he said: "First, the idea of an 11% pay rise in one year at a time of pay restraint is simply unacceptable.

"Secondly, Ipsa do need to think again and, unless they do so, I don't think anyone will want to rule anything out.

"No one wants to go back to MPs voting on their own pay, but we have got to have a process and an outcome that can build public confidence."

l Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has said he would not take the proposed 11% pay rise.

The money would be ­automatically added on to MPs salaries.

Mr Carmichael said he did not agree with the plans and would ensure he did not "benefit personally".

He added that one option he was considering was to use the money for office costs, allowing him to bill the taxpayer less in expenses.

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Local government

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