AN INFLATION-busting wage increase of almost 10% for MPs would be “absolutely wrong”, according to a Sussex MP.

Caroline Lucas has labelled the recommendation to raise MPs’ pay to £74,000 as “completely out of touch with the economic reality”.

The Brighton Pavilion MP said she would pass on any increase in her own wage packet to charity.

Marcial Boo, chief executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority which regulates MPs’ salaries and expenses, recommended the pay increase earlier this month.

MPs are already due a 1% increase to £67,731 next April and under the current proposals would see that rise again a month later to £74,000.

Ms Lucas said: “Accepting a pay rise of 9%, particularly at a time when so many of our constituents are struggling to make ends meet, would be absolutely wrong.

“Many people who are in work are looking forward to either no pay rise next year, or at best another below-inflation increase, while many others are still without work. “I support the principle of an independent body to make decisions on MPs’ pay, but the recommendation is completely out of touch with the economic reality for so many.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith agreed that a pay rise above and beyond what other workers were currently receiving would be inappropriate.

He said: “At a time when the economy is still recovering from the economic crisis of the late 2000s and the public sector has only seen on average 1% pay rises since then, I do not think it is appropriate that MPs should receive an increase more than this.

“I usually work a 60 to 70 hour week as most MPs do, but the element of public service means this should mitigate comparable pay in other sectors to an extent in my view.” Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley said MPs’ pay should offer a suitable wage to attract people on middle incomes which would not impose too drastic a cut in living standards.

He said: “At my stage and age, the money does not matter much to me.

“It would be unfair to say how much I give away as younger colleagues might feel too much pressure on them.

“I will tell any constituent who asks me privately if they can agree not to tell others.”

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said that the pay increase was a decision for the next Parliament and he would continue to work hard for his constituents to provide them with “an excellent value for money service”.