1 July 2013 Last updated at 03:01
David Cameron 'warned he cannot stop pay rise for MPs'
David Cameron has been warned he will not be able to block plans for a big pay rise for MPs, the BBC understands.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is expected to say backbench MPs' £66,000 salaries should rise to over £70,000 after the next election.
The prime minister has said such a plan would be "unthinkable".
But the BBC's Nick Robinson said the PM could not block the recommendations and advisers had warned him MPs would reject any bid to do so in the Commons.
Our correspondent added that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's (Ipsa) recommendation would be "likely to cause outrage from voters at a time when there is significant pay restraint in the public and private sectors".
Ipsa, which was set up as an independent body to regulate MPs' pay and pensions in the wake of the expenses scandal, is expected to announce its initial recommendations this month.
What must have seemed a good idea at the time of the MPs' expenses scandal is now giving the prime minister a political migraine”
MPs and members of the public will be able to take part in a consultation before Ipsa publishes its final recommendations - expected in the autumn - which would then come into force without the need for further legislation.
Reports in several newspapers this weekend suggest its initial recommendations will call for a rise of about 15% in the basic salary of a backbench MP from £66,396 to a sum closer to £75,000. MPs would however have to pay much higher contributions towards their pensions.
Speaking in Pakistan, Mr Cameron said he did not know what Ipsa would say but added: "Whatever Ipsa recommends we can't see the cost of politics or Westminster going up. We should see the cost of Westminster go down.
"Anything would be unthinkable unless the cost of politics was frozen and cut, so I'll wait and see what Ipsa have to say. What I said to Ipsa was that restraint is necessary."
And the Mail on Sunday reported that a source close to Labour leader Ed Miliband had said: "We will view any rise for MPs in the light of the current climate of economic austerity.
"It has to be seen in the context of the decision to limit public sector workers' pay increases to 1% and the fact that some private sector workers have had their pay cut."
Nick Clegg has also urged restraint.
The Commons voted against a 1% pay rise in 2011 and last year agreed to extend the pay freeze into 2013.
But in an anonymous online survey of 100 MPs conducted for Ipsa - the results of which were published in January - 69% said they were underpaid.
The average level suggested for the appropriate level of pay was £86,250.
Matthew Sinclair, of the Taxpayers' Alliance which campaigns for lower taxes, said there would be public outrage should the rises go ahead.
He said: "MPs are already very well paid both in terms of European politicians and the average salary in this country.
"It would be particularly egregious for politicians to be handed a whopping great pay rise while hard-pressed taxpayers tighten their own belts.
"Ipsa must recognise that its own polling shows the public simply do not support an increase, nor would it be consistent for MPs to take a rise while rightly freezing pay elsewhere in the public sector."
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