‘I should like to make a very specific request for information you might hold. I would be most grateful if you could provide the Excel file by which you generated the chart appearing on p 14 of your recent report "Reviewing MPs' Pay and Pensions: A first report". If that file is not available, could you kindly send me the underlying data?’
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Please find attached at Annex A the information that you requested. Sheet 1 is the raw data and the charts, at sheets 2-6, provide a range of comparisons between the real (ie, inflation-adjusted) growth of MPs’ pay and of UK average earnings since 1911, 1946, 1971 and 1972.
Further commentary on the information contained in sheets 2 to 6 of Annex A:
- Sheet 2 represents the period between 1911 and 2011. 1911 was the point at which MPs received their first allowance of £400. This chart shows that, in real terms, MPs’ pay has increased by approximately 60%, whereas average earnings have more than trebled
- Sheet 3 represents the period between 1946 and 2011. This date was chosen to demonstrate the post-war period. In addition, there was an increase from £600 in 1945 to £1,000 in 1946, so this increase is taken out of the equation. In this period the trends, after an initial fall in MPs’ pay in real terms, are not significantly different.
- Sheets 4 and 5 illustrate that the trends over the past 30 years are relatively closely aligned. In 1972, MPs received an increase in their salary from £3,250 to £4,500 a year. To contrast the effect of the 1972 increase on trends, sheet 4 uses 1972 as a base, using the increased salary as the starting point, and sheet 5 uses 1971 as a base, including the salary increase in the trend. Sheet 5, in comparison with sheet 4, shows an almost identical long term trend over the past thirty years, but with more volatility in MPs’ pay because of the stop-start nature of pay increases
- Sheet 6 shows the multiple of MPs’ pay to average earnings. With the introduction of the £400 in 1911, MPs were receiving almost six times average earnings. The realignment in pay to average earnings mainly took place before the Second World War and since that time it has oscillated around the three times mark.
 MPs’ pay is from data provided by the House of Commons Library.