IPSA and Public Sector Pay Growth

In short

An unclear link: IPSA’s documentation does not reveal the exact rule they use for increasing the basic annual salary of MPs.

A Link to the Past

Following the scandal over MPs’ expenses, IPSA was established to set the pay of MPs, manage their pensions, and administer expenses incurred through parliamentary duties. These expenses typically cover office costs, accommodation and travel.

The Golden Rule

If MPs’ pay is linked to changes in pay in the wider public sector, what is the nature of that link?

  • to include or exclude financial services in the public sector;
  • to look at a single month (e.g. the increase from October 2017 to October 2018), or at a three-month rolling average.
This graph shows two of the measures. (Data: ONS — Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey)
No single measure of public sector pay growth works in every year.
The rate of growth in total public sector earnings has been generally increasing in the last five years. (Data: ONS)



This blog looks at the use of statistics in Britain and beyond. It is written by RSS Statistical Ambassador and Chartered Statistician @anthonybmasters.

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