Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers' Alliance issued the following response to today's announcement by IPSA on MPs' pay:
In recommending this pay hike at a time when wages are stagnating for millions across the country, IPSA has demonstrated itself to be not fit for purpose. This unaccountable bureaucratic monster of a quango, which was supposed to help restore public faith in Parliament after the 2009 MPs' expenses scandal, has in fact just succeeded in turning the clock back four years.
He also commented on the revelation that IPSA spent more than £70,000 on opinion research seeking the public's view on MPs' pay, only to completely disregard it (see notes to editors for details):
It beggars belief that IPSA felt it an appropriate use of taxpayers' money to run up a bill in excess of £70,000 on opinion surveys, citizens' juries and focus groups. But it is beyond contempt that IPSA completely ignored the very research which showed the public to think that MPs' pay is currently 'broadly fair'. The body which ought to be representing the interests of voters and taxpayers has unceremoniously put two fingers up at the lot of us.
The IPSA website reveals two payments to COMRES for "Consultation MP Pay & Pension" of £33,273 and £37,593 on 10/05/2012 and 29/06/2012 respectively. See the spreadsheet "Expenditure over £25,000 - 2013 (updated to November at http://lowtax.es/1bGvIJ0)