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Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Section 29: MPs’ salaries

166.Subsection (1) substitutes a new section 4 and 4A for section 4 of the 2009 Act. The current section 4 of the 2009 Act provides that IPSA is to pay MPs’ salaries in accordance with resolutions of the House of Commons. The new section 4 also gives the IPSA responsibility for paying the salaries of MPs but provides that the amounts of the salaries are also to be determined by the IPSA. New section 4 also sets out the circumstances under which salaries will be paid. Section 4A makes further provision about the determination of MPs’ salaries.

167.New section 4(1) provides for salaries to be paid to MPs. The salaries are to be paid by the IPSA monthly in arrears (new section 4(2) and (3)). New section 4(4) provides that the salaries will be determined by the IPSA in accordance with the provisions of new section 4A.

168.New section 4(5) sets out the definition of “relevant period” for the purpose of new section 4(1) and therefore the period for which MPs are to receive a salary. By virtue of new section 4(6) no salary is payable until the MP has made and subscribed the oath required by the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866 (or the corresponding affirmation).

169.New section 4(7) provides that the duty to pay a salary is subject to anything done in the exercise of the disciplinary powers of the House of Commons so that a salary can be withheld, or deductions made from it, as a consequence of the exercise of the disciplinary powers of the House of Commons.

170.New section 4A(2) allows the IPSA to determine that the salaries of those holding an office or position specified in a resolution of the House of Commons, such as a Chairman of a Select Committee, are to be paid at a higher rate than for other Members of the House. New section 4A(3) permits the IPSA to make different provision under new section 4A(2) for different offices or positions. This will allow the amount of the additional salary paid to be tailored to the office or position.

171.New section 4A(4) gives the IPSA the authority to include a formula or mechanism in the determination so as automatically to adjust salaries without the need for a further determination.

172.A determination (other than the first determination) may have retrospective effect so that, for example, an increase in salary could be backdated to a point before the determination was made (new section 4A(5).

173.Under new section 4A(6), the IPSA is required to carry out a review of MPs’ salaries in the first year of each Parliament (subject to subsection (2)). It also permits the IPSA to carry out a review at any other time it considers appropriate.

174.New section 4A(7) lists those bodies and persons that the IPSA must consult as part of its process of reviewing salaries and making determinations. These are the Review Body on Senior Salaries, representatives of those likely to be affected by the determination or the review, the Minister for the Civil Service, HM Treasury and any other person that the IPSA considers appropriate.

175.The IPSA is required to publish any determination of salaries it makes and a statement explaining how it reached such a determination (new section 4A(8)). New section 4A(9) creates a duty on the IPSA to publish a statement explaining why it has not changed its determination on salaries if it carries out a review but decides not to make a new determination.

176.Subsection (2) provides that the first determination made by the IPSA does not have to come into effect before 1 April 2012. It also removes the need for the IPSA to carry out a review in the first year of any Parliament beginning before 1 April 2012.

177.Subsection (3) ensures that, until the IPSA’s first determination comes into effect, the amounts of MPs’ salaries will continue to be determined by resolutions of the House of Commons.

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