» Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MPs’ Pay

Asked for a response to the report in the Telegraph that the Prime Minister would suggest a pay rise for MPs, the PMS replied that pay and all related matters should be seen in the context of the Kelly Review. We were turning away from a discredited old system; the Kelly Review would be published on the 4th November, so until then people should wait and see what it would say not just in relation to expenses but any wider issues.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was a good idea if there was a pay rise for MPs paid for by a cut for Ministers, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had not expressed that view. The Prime Minister was focussed on ensuring the Legg Review was completed and then to look forward to the Kelly Review and a new system.

Put that the Prime Minister had made reference to MPs being adequately paid in the Speakers Conference, the PMS said that the comment was made in the context of second homes and accepting that a system was needed whereby it was not just going to be wealthy people who became MPs because of the need, for instance, to operate two homes.

Asked if the Prime Minister was signed up to accepting the conclusions of the Kelly Review come what may, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had said that he was looking forward to receiving the Kelly Review. Until we had seen the report it would be inappropriate to say yes. The Prime Minister’s expectation was that the Kelly recommendations would be ones that he would want to move forward with.

Asked if the Prime Minister had written his cheque yet, the PMS said he was not sure but would check. The Prime Minister had made it clear that he intended to pay back the money he had been asked to pay back.

Put that the Government had said last year that MPs should no longer vote on their own pay and was that still the Government’s view, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had not expressed a view beyond that. Asked if pressure was being brought to bear on Sir Christopher Kelly and was there a danger of pre-judging the event, the PMS said that he would not characterise it like that. Sir Christopher Kelly was a well-respected, independent figure and it was important that he was given time to complete his report. The report would then be acted upon in the appropriate manner.

Asked when the Prime Minister would expect to see a copy of the report, the PMS said he did not know whether the Prime Minister would see it in advance or not.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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