Appearing on ITV Good Morning Britain, the Conservative frontbencher defended the Prime Minister’s decision to offer a £1.6 billion package run-down towns post-Brexit. But when confronted by Piers Morgan with the recent announcement MPs will receive a 2.7 percent pay rise this year despite the “dog’s dinner” they made out of the Brexit process, Mr Brokenshire failed to admit he and his colleagues could have collectively refused the incentive.
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Mr Brokenshire said: “We made a decision several years ago after that lack of confidence in MPs having that decision-making process of MPs setting their own pay and conditions to put that out into an independent body.
“That’s what collectively we’ve decided to do and now we have no say.”
But Piers Morgan hit back: “Come off it! You could collectively all say ‘we’re not going to have it’.
“You could. You could just say ‘you know what? In light of Brexit, in light of the pain we are causing the British public, this seems completely inappropriate and we as a body’ – because apparently the parliamentary staff who are doing all the dog’s work in all this they’re only getting 1.5 percent.
“That must be growing a bit of attention as you walk through the corridors of power.”
The Tory MP re-highlighted Parliament’s decision to trust an external body to judge and adjust MPs’ salary claiming MPs “couldn’t make those changes”.
But the ITV host responded MPs could have made “one popular decision” among the “terrible” ones they are at the moment making every day.
He said: “No, I get it. But it doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
“As a body you could say ‘we listen to the public, we think this is inappropriate and actually we are not going to accept it’.
“You could do that. I mean you’re making enough terrible decisions at the moment as it is, what about making one that would be popular?
MPs are to receive a 2.7 percent pay rise, taking their basic salary for 2019/20 from £77,379 to £79,468, sparking outrage among taxpayer and workers’ unions.
The £2,089 hike, effective from April 1, is well above the current inflation rate of 1.8 percent on the main CPI measure. It follows a 1.8% boost to MPs’ pay last year, 1.4 percent in 2017, 1.3 percent in 2016 and a big increase from £67,000 to £74,000 in July 2015. MPs’ pay is linked to average rises in the public sector, as determined by the Office for National Statistics.
The 2.7 percent figure was announced by the ONS on an interim basis in December and confirmed last week to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which made the final announcement.
Following reforms to the way MPs’ pay is calculated, the rise is automatic and not subject to a vote in the House of Commons.
Chairs of Commons committees will enjoy a 2.7 percent increase to the additional salary they receive on top of their basic pay, taking it from £15,509 to £15,928.
Ministers’ salaries are determined separately.