MPs are in line for a pay rise of £10,000 a year – but they may have to give up their gold-plated pensions.
According to some insiders, officials believe a pay rise as high as 25 per cent – taking salaries to £82,172 – is needed to give MPs a fair deal.
But it is thought they may recommend a figure closer to £10,000 to try to minimise the anticipated public outcry.
Downing Street will be alarmed at the prospect of a big rise for MPs on the grounds that it would undermine David Cameron’s ‘we’re all in it together’ campaign to encourage other workers to make do with no increase or minimal rises of one per cent.
A senior MP said: ‘We know we are going to see headlines of “snouts in the trough” but the issue of MPs’ low pay has to be resolved.
‘We got into this mess 25 years ago because we were frightened of being criticised by the press and public for giving ourselves a proper pay rise.
‘Instead, we were encouraged to claim more expenses under the counter.
The expenses scandal ended all that and now we are left with a pitiful pay cheque.
‘Voters may not like it but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Unless our pay goes up, the decline in the quality of people prepared to become MPs and Ministers will increase and the whole country will suffer.’