Conservative Diary

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Sir Patrick Cormack calls for MPs to get £130,000 basic pay but no allowances

Giving evidence to the House of Commons the Tory MP for Staffordshire South (who survived a deselection vote last year) argued:

"I have reluctantly become convinced, over the last few weeks, that the most effective way of restoring public confidence in Parliament is for there to be a significant increase in Members' salaries and an abolition of all allowances, save the allowance to pay for staff and a constituency office... 'In order to ensure that Members could perform their parliamentary and constituency duties effectively, and have, where necessary, a second home, the salary of Members would have to be doubled at least."

The Evening Standard has the full story and gives Sir Patrick some support in an editorial.

I've argued before that during these recessionary times MPs and ministers should be taking a temporary cut in pay.  Cameron appears to back this 'sharing of the pain' for ministers.

Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties were quick to jump on the news:

Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey: "He must be living on Planet Zog to think that doubling MPs’ salary would restore public faith in Parliament. While many people are struggling to make ends meet, it’s outrageous and offensive for such a senior Conservative to propose doubling MPs’ pay.”

Labour frontbencher Mike Foster MP: "'David Cameron tries to talk tough on expenses for the cameras while behind the scenes his out of touch MPs are secretly trying to double their salaries. In these difficult economic times the public are not going to take kindly to MPs awarding themselves a huge pay rise."

Tim Montgomerie

2pm: Over at The Spectator's Coffee House Pete Hoskin calls for direct public involvement in deciding MPs' pay.

5pm: Mark Wallace on CentreRight lists seven reasons why Sir Patrick Cormack is wrong.


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