Monday 17 October 2011

Pensions motion

After the hoo-ha over MPs’ expenses politicians made a big deal of the fact that the issue of remuneration had been pushed out to an independent body.

So it wasn’t without a touch of irony when the Government, out of political expediency, asked Parliament to reject a pay-rise proposed by that independent body earlier this year.

Having got a taste for meddling, the Government has tabled a rather contradictory motion on MPs’ pensions today.

It starts saying that the Commons, “reasserts its view that the salaries, pensions and expenses scheme for hon. Members ought to be determined independently of this House”.

The motion notes that the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission has recommended a rise and then, without shame, says that the Commons should, “[invite] IPSA to increase contribution rates for hon. Members from 1 April 2012 in line with changes in pension contribution rates for other public service schemes”.

Should it? If these things are to be done independently surely Commons shouldn’t be taking any view at all, something which the amendment proposed by MPs Christopher Chope and Bill Esterson among others appears to grasp.

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