MP confirms pay rise will boost charitable fund

Chris White
Chris White

Chris White will not accept the 10 percent pay rise agreed this week - and has instead pledged all of the money to the Love Leamington charitable fund.

The Warwick and Leamington MP, who has vocally condemned proposals for members to receive the compulsory rise, confirmed that he will hand over every penny to the newly started fund as the increase was announced this week.

The increase is not optional but it would be only right and proper to put the money to good use

Chris White, MP

The rise, which the Conservative back-bencher said will amount to around £5,000 a year after tax, will be donated to the Love Leamington Fund which will offer help with small business grants, donations to groups and individuals for sports equipment and even room rentals.

Mr White said: “I will not be taking this pay rise and my intentions to donate it to the Love Leamington fund will go ahead to be distributed to good causes locally.

“I think it is excessive and absolutely the wrong time to be doing it.

“The increase is not optional but it would be only right and proper to put the money to good use.”

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) this week confirmed that MPs’ pay will rise to £74,000 as part of a package of changes.

The rise will be backdated to May 8, and will be adjusted annually in line with average earnings within the public sector.

While IPSA - the independent body which regulates MPs’ pay and expenses- assured that the extra money has been found internally with changes to members’ pensions and expenses, Mr White said it is still an “unjustified” increase in hard times.

“It has been justified, not by me, as a cost neutral move with changes to pension allowance and other things,” he said.

“But that doesn’t make a difference to the fact that at a time when there are great cuts to other people and services, it is greatly unfair.

“Wherever pot the money comes from it is an excessive increase at a time when it is most inappropriate.”

Money will he donated from later this year, and will amount to around £25,000 over his five years in government.

It will be managed independently by the Heart of England Charitable Trust, independently from the MP’s office.

The unique Love Leamington fund was launched by Mr White in January with plans for it to become a permanent charitable resource for the town.

Kenilworth and Southam MP, Jeremy Wright has yet to respond to the Courier and KWN’s requests for comment on the wage increase.