MPs will get a 2.9% pay rise in April, reflecting ministers’ “evolving approach to public sector pay” amid sky-high inflation.
The rise will take MPs' salaries from £84,144 to £86,584, amid a series of industrial disputes with civil servants and other public sector workers.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which sets MPs' pay, said the increase – which falls far below the 9.2% rate of inflation recorded in December – reflects average pay rises for public servants in 2022-23.
Cabinet Office guidance meant most departments could offer civil servants an average 2% pay rise this year – topped up to 3% where they could argue it was needed for recruitment and retention.
Teachers have been awarded a 5% rise, while nurses got 4% and prison officers a minimum of 4%.
Staff across several areas of public services are staging strikes over stagnating pay. The PCS union is set to stage its second cross-government walkout on 15 March, alongside a series of targeted strikes; while Prospect is currently balloting its civil service members on industrial action.
The 2.9% rise is slightly higher than last year’s 2.7% increase, which Ipsa said at the time matched the average pay rise across the public sector in 2021-22.
However, the news was unpopular among civil servants, who were subject to a pay freeze that year.
Writing for CSW last March, Prospect’s deputy general secretary Garry Graham said “civil servants have looked quizzically at the 2.7% consolidated and pensionable pay award recently announced for MPs – an increase that is meant to reflect earnings increases in the public sector over the previous year”.
Graham said at the time that while he did not begrudge MPs a salary increase, “what sticks in the craw is the hypocrisy and the wilful ignorance of some as to how those who serve and support them are treated and how poorly they are paid”.
Announcing its decision yesterday, Ipsa chair Richard Lloyd said: "We have once again considered very carefully the extremely difficult economic circumstances, the government's evolving approach to public sector pay in the light of forecasted rates of inflation, and the principle that MPs' pay should be reflective of their responsibility in our democracy.
"Our aim is to ensure that pay is fair for MPs, regardless of their financial circumstances. Serving as an MP should not be the preserve of those wealthy enough to fund it themselves."