SOUTH Cumbria MPs have slammed a proposal for a pay rise as ‘deeply inappropriate’.

The MPs for Barrow and Furness and South Lakes have criticised new proposals from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) in which MPs could receive a pay rise of over £3,000 from next April.

Simon Fell, the Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness, condemned the plans as ‘utterly staggering’.

He said: “This is completely boneheaded.

“I find it utterly staggering that the independent body that manages MPs finances and sets pay thinks this is even vaguely appropriate, especially at this time.”

IPSA, the independent body responsible for overseeing MPs’ pay, pensions and expenses, says the rise was calculated using the same method as in recent years.

MPs could see around £3,000 added to their current £79,468 basic salary at a time when average wages are falling and more people are losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Public sector wages have been insulated from the effects of the pandemic, however, more people work in the badly-hit private sector so, on average, wages are falling.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for the South Lakes, said he would donate his pay rise to charity if the plans were to go ahead.

“At a time when people are losing their jobs, this pay rise (proposed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) feels deeply inappropriate,” he said.

“If this pay rise does go ahead, then I won’t be keeping mine and will instead give it to charities and causes that I’m passionate about as I have done in the past.”

The MPs’ pay proposal is now open for consultation until November 6, with a final decision due in December.

IPSA, which was set up in 2010 in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal, said that given the ‘scale of future economic uncertainty arising from the coronavirus pandemic’ it had decided to continue using the same method that it had used to calculate changes in previous years.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison did not respond as The Mail went to press last night.