Creasy gives up her pay rise as an example to Croydon MPs

Spot the Tory: Croydon's MPs, from left, Gavin Barwell, Steve Reed OBE and Chris Philp

Croydon’s MPs, from left, Gavin Barwell, Steve Reed OBE and Chris Philp: will any of them follow Stella Creasy’s lead on expenses or spending?

Now here’s an idea for this kinder, gentler era of politics: Croydon’s three MPs could ask their constituents how to use the money from their recent pay hike – up 10 per cent, now at £74,000 per year for back benchers, since you ask – and give the public the chance to veto how they spend public money in their offices.

That’s what Stella Creasy did this week in Walthamstow.

Since being elected in 2010, Creasy has set an example for fellow MPs, especially in her campaigning against pay-day loan companies.

Runner-up in the recent Labour deputy leadership election, Creasy appears intent on setting the standard with her personal conduct in public office.

Leading by example: Stella Creasy MP

Leading by example: Stella Creasy MP

On Thursday, Creasy staged what she calls “my expenses panel meeting”.

As she explains, it is “where any local resident can attend to scrutinise and veto my proposals for spending of the office allowance I get from Parliament as well as review my last year’s spending budget and how it compared”.

Does any of Croydon’s MPs, Tories Gavin Barwell and Chris Philp, or Steve Reed OBE, do anything similar?

And Creasy goes further still.

“We will also be discussing what to do with my salary increase at this meeting too,” the Walthamstow MP said. Following the decision of the Government, the extra £6,000-plus cannot be rejected by MPs, so Creasy says she “can only pass it on!”

In Walthamstow, the £6,000-or-so MP’s pay rise has thus become a community grant fund. Imagine what might be possible with nearly £20,000 of discretionary community funding across Croydon’s three constituencies.

Creasy’s meeting was open to all her constituents – she even tries to ensure that everyone gets a full set of paperwork on which to base their decisions.

So which of Croydon’s MPs will be first to adopt similar attitude to accountability about the manner in which they spend our money?

Steve Reed OBE?

Chris Philp?

Gavin Barwell?

Anyone holding their breath?

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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4 Responses to Creasy gives up her pay rise as an example to Croydon MPs

  1. Always a controversial subject. The differential between back bench pay and the Prime Minister and senior Ministers is quite small in contrast to arrangements between senior and junior staff in the rest of the economy. Compared to back benchers the Prime Minister is really quite poorly paid. Perhaps Mike Fisher could be asked to advise on an acceptable package?

  2. davidjl2014 says:

    She’s obviously yet another example of a wealthy hypocrite, who has money, doesn’t want anyone else to have it, but pledges support to those unfortunate who don’t! Sums up the policies of Tony Blair doesn’t it. Sadly we are still suffering today from the years in power that Blair and Co got away with this doctrine.

    • Yet another example of how “logic” works on Planet Kipper, where someone who does the right, public-spirited thing, is accused of hypocrisy.

      Don’t suppose all those absentee UKIP MEPs, who hypocritically rake-in millions of pounds of public cash from Brussels but barely ever attend, might consider such a gesture? No, of course not…

  3. joeycan says:

    What a lovely idea, I really hope our 3 MPs get the message and create a similar Nirvana. Hey, but why stop there?

    If our parliamentarians can’t hand their increases back, does this mean that the increases made to our Councillors, which may still be in limbo following the grand gestures a year or so ago, and the one yet to come, cannot be returned either?

    Perhaps the councillors, most of whom have a double income, one from their day job and one from their council activities, should combine with their MPs to create a really big pot of social money and distribute their largesse accordingly. It is our money, after all.

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