RENFREWSHIRE'S MPs are set to receive a bumper 2.7 per cent pay rise, taking their basic salary for 2019/20 from £77,379 to £79,468. 

The £2,089 hike, effective from April 1, is well above the current inflation rate of 1.8 per cent on the main CPI measure.

It follows a 1.8 per cent boost to MPs' pay last year, 1.4 per cent in 2017, 1.3 per cent in 2016 and a big increase from £67,000 to £74,000 in July 2015.

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Neither Mhairi Black, Paisley and Renfrewshire South, or Gavin Newlands, Paisley and Renfrewshire North, have voted for the rises as they are automatic and not subject to a vote in the House of Commons. 

MPs' pay is linked to average rises in the public sector, as determined by the Office for National Statistics.

The 2.7 per cent figure was announced by the ONS on an interim basis in December and confirmed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which made the final announcement.

Gavin Newlands emphasised that the increase was not decided by MPs and called the mere 1.5 per cent increase to staff wages 'indefensible'.

The SNP man told The Gazette: “Staff are hardworking public servants who provide one on one support for constituents with a myriad of different problem in their lives.

"This is an indispensable role of advice and advocacy for our communities, and staff thus deserve to be paid properly for this often challenging work.

"This is why I signed a cross-party letter from MPs to IPSA asking them to reconsider the staff budget.

"Despite this paltry increase in staffing budget, I will be taking steps to ensure that my staff get the standard Scottish Public Sector increase of 3 per cent."

Mhairi Black added: "The staff in the Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency office do a vital job for the community.

"The job that they do by giving advice and help to constituents and solving an array of problems for them means they deserve to be paid properly. The work that they do for the people of Renfrewshire is  invaluable."

TaxPayers' Alliance grassroots campaign manager Harry Fone said: "A lot of taxpayers are going to be annoyed by this announcement.

"In the private sector, pay rises and bonuses are rewarded based on performance, not for just turning up. Ipsa are once again out of touch with the public."

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: "It is an outrage that MPs are rewarding themselves with an above- inflation pay rise while civil servants, who do some of the most vital jobs in society, are still subject to a cruel 1 per cent de-facto pay cap.

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"PCS are balloting 120,000 members for strike action over pay this summer and today's news will only anger them further."

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