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Pay freeze for MSPs

Holyrood

Pay freeze for MSPs

MSPs will not receive a pay increase in 2021, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) has announced.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh, who chairs the SCPB, said increasing salaries would be “wholly inappropriate” against a backdrop of the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Typically, MSP salaries are linked to those of other public sector workers, using the Office for National Statistics’ annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE).

But the SCPB unanimously agreed not to apply the 5.1 per cent uplift to MSP and ministerial salaries next year.

Macintosh said: “In the midst of a public health crisis with such devastating economic consequences and hardship for so many households, the SPCB unanimously agreed yesterday that it would be wholly inappropriate for the ASHE index to be applied to MSP and ministerial salaries next year.

“Instead, the SPCB agreed that members, ministers and presiding officers will forgo a pay rise and that our budget bid to the Finance and Constitution Committee will freeze the current salary rates for members.

“These are exceptional circumstances and no other decision would have been appropriate or welcome at this time – either inside or outwith Parliament. Now more than ever is a time for political leadership where our own salaries are concerned.”

The decision comes as pressure mounts for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to freeze MPs’ salaries.

They had been due to see a pay rise of 4.1 per cent but both Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer have urged the watchdog not to make the change.

IPSA said no decision had yet been made.

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