Oct 15 2012
MPs face having their gold-plated pensions slashed as part of a root-and-branch review of their pay and perks, it has been revealed.
A consultation says politicians must work longer before retiring and get lower benefits to save the taxpayer £2 million a year.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) document also pours cold water on the idea that MPs' pay should be linked to higher-earning jobs such as GPs or headteachers.
But it does raise the possibility of increasing their salaries to three or even four times national average earnings - potentially up to £90,000.
The watchdog signalled it did not back proposals for regionalising pay, pointing out that "most MPs live and work in London for a large part of the week when Parliament is sitting".
It also rejected the notion of basing remuneration on performance or time served in the Commons, and suggested matching people's pre-parliamentary salaries would "disadvantage some candidates" who had been unemployed or low-paid.
The document highlighted the idea of having two salary levels - one for the dozens of MPs who hold second jobs, and another for those who give up extra work.
But despite reports that Ipsa's management favours the plan, the consultation merely stated: "We invite views on this issue."
There have been calls from some MPs for their pay to be hiked in line with senior roles such as GPs, headteachers or police chiefs. That could have seen their salaries rocket into six figures.
However, Ipsa said a "mechanistic" link to other jobs "faced many obstacles, including political pressures to avoid increases".