While the population faces an impending cost of living crisis and businesses struggle to recover from the pandemic, MPs could be on track to take home even more money than they did last year
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MPs could be set to receive a bumper pay rise later this year, much to the frustration of many campaigners.
Members of Parliament could be about to see an extra 2.7% salary paid to them each year from April 1.
Last year, MPs skipped out on their usual annual pay increase due to the pandemic. The annual increase in normal years tends to be in line with increases in salaries across the public sector.
Members were set to get an extra £3,300 in 2021, but this was brought to an end by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority when MPs put pressure on the body to freeze their pay.
This year they are set to get around an extra £2,000 a year from the 2.7% hike, unless that’s cancelled too.
“The mechanism is independent but I think it’s for me, as Leader of the Opposition, to say that I do not think we should have that pay rise.”
How much do MPs get paid?
At the time of writing, MPs get paid £81,932 and so the 2.7% increase they could be due to get would increase this to around £84,000.
Members’ pay in 2019 was £79,468, according to the House of Commons Library – and it was £43,860 in 1997.
While MPs’ pay was frozen last year due to the pandemic, it was also frozen by the coalition government from 2010 to 2012.
However, after 2012 wages were thawed once again, with substantial sums added to their pockets. In 2012 a member earned £65,738 – meaning that in the eight years up to 2020, their salaries have gone up by more than £16,000.
MPs’ pay rises are usually decided based on average earnings growth in the public sector, but IPSA can choose to make exceptions in specific years.
How much do ministers get paid?
As of 2021, ministers get paid an additional sum on top of their parliamentary salary to reflect the additional workload of being part of the government.
The various additions to member’s salaries are:
- Prime Minister: £75,440
- Cabinet Minister: £67,505
- Minister of State: £31,680
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State: £22,475
Ministers are generally not allowed to take second jobs beyond those of being an MP and ministers.
However, despite the substantial sums earned as part of their taxpayer-funded roles, MPs can take on additional incomes outside Parliament.
Can MPs have another job?
In short, yes, and examples of MPs taking second jobs are easy to find. Ministers, meanwhile, are not able to take second jobs.
MPs must publicly declare any additional earnings they make. MPs who leave parliament are banned from lobbying the government for two years to stop what is known as the “revolving door”. This is designed to prevent former politicians from using their contacts inside parliament to the advantage of their new employers or interest.
In late 2021, then-Tory MP Owen Paterson faced suspension after being found to have lobbied the government for companies who were paying him as a consultant while he was still an MP.
Shortly after the Paterson scandal, attention was drawn to the second jobs of MPs with questions being asked about how feasible it is to completely separate the interests of secondary employers from parliament.
In November the BBC reported that Sir Geoffery Cox, a Tory MP, had earned £900,000 working as a lawyer the previous year.