George Osborne will announce plans to pay lower salaries to Members of Parliament in poorer parts of the country in his budget next week. The chancellor will argue that MPs pay should mimic the private sector and be more reflective of local economies.
Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, said the move would ‘suck demand out of local economies, increase joblessness and worsen the North-South divide’. But George Osborne defended the initiative saying that Parliament should lead the way in setting competitive pay levels. ‘In any case,’ he added, ‘all the poor bits have Labour MPs, so it’s win-win.’