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Dorset MPs divided over pay increase
DORSET MPs are divided on a planned wage increase of 11 per cent.
West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin has pledged not to accept the increase and branded it 'inappropriate'.
But Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, said MPs should accept the rise as it has been proposed by an independent body.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Committee (IPSA), set up in 2009 in the wake of the expenses scandal, will reveal its proposals for MPs pay on Thursday.
Salaries will be increased by £7,600 to £74,000 from 2015, a rise of 11 per cent.
Mr Drax said: “I would abide by whatever IPSA recommends.
“I think if some MPs accept it and others don't there is going to be absolute chaos.
“If all the party leaders were to instruct MPs not to take it, then that would be something to be considered.”
He added: “The point is that it's an independent body, and if they are recommending a pay rise then they must have looked at the matter and felt that MPs should be paid more.”
But he added: “If it was unanimous across the house that all MPs decided together not to take the increase then I would also turn it down.”
He admitted the move may 'stick in people's gullets'.
Mr Drax added: “I can understand why the public feel as they do on this and I'm sure some are grieved that they are not getting a pay rise.
“It feels as though we are getting one better.
“But how can you set up an independent body to make recommendations and then decide that these recommendations are wrong?”
The proposals also include plans to change pensions for MPs from matching their final salaries to matching their career average.
IPSA will announce on Thursday whether the proposals will go ahead.
Mr Letwin said he would not be accepting the increase.
He said: “It is not appropriate for MPs to receive such a pay rise at a time when pay rises in the rest of the public sector are being capped at one per cent.”
Annette Brooke, MP for Mid-Dorset and North Poole, is standing down at the next election.
She also criticised the rise.
Mrs Brooke said: “To talk about an 11 per cent pay increase is just unacceptable in these times of austerity, when people are being asked to make sacrifices.
“Personally I feel the rise should be phased in over five years after the general election.”
Mrs Brooke said she is standing down with the understanding that the resettlement grant provided to previous MPs will not be available to her. This is another proposal which IPSA will make an announcement on, on Thursday.
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