London: British lawmakers have been given a disputed 10 per cent pay increase despite their protests over the hike, which comes a week after the government imposed a 1 per cent pay freeze on all other public sector workers as part of austerity measures to help eliminate UK's budget deficit.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) announced today that the annual salaries of the 650 elected MPs will rise from 67,060 pounds to 74,000 pounds.
The hike will be backdated to May 8, earning them an added windfall, to the disappointment of the British public.
The pay rise has been approved despite Downing Street and a succession of MPs saying it was "not appropriate".
Many MPs have promised to forego the extra cash, mindful of the anger from other public sector workers whose wage hike have capped at 1 per cent yearly for the next four years as part of efforts to help curb the budget deficit.
A number of MPs -? including UK Education Secretary Nicky Morgan -- have said they would give the money to charity, while Labour leadership contenders Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have said they would forego the rise.
IPSA chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said that MPs' pay had been a "toxic" issue "which had been ducked for decades."
He said the pay rise would not cost any money because it was being combined with cuts to expenses, pension and severance payments for MPs.
The independent watchdog, set up to bring in and run a new expenses and pay system for MPs after the expenses scandal of 2009, said in future MPs'?pay would rise in line with average rises in the public sector.
IPSA recommended the increase despite recognising in a consultation that closed on June 30 that "the majority of the public who have either responded to the consultation or have articulated their views on social media and through polls... are opposed to a significant pay increase for MPs."
The measure being used by IPSA has also been negative in the past as a result of job cuts - and the watchdog's report stated: "If these data show that public sector earnings have in fact fallen, then MPs' pay will be cut too."
Sir Ian said: "In making this decision we are very aware of the strongly held views of many members of the public and by some MPs themselves.
"We have listened to those views. We have made an important change to the way in which pay will be adjusted annually."