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11% pay hike to legislators roils Britain

LONDON — An independent watchdog has proposed an 11 percent pay raise for British members of Parliament despite stagnating public sector salaries.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority announced recommendations Thursday to increase MPs’ annual salaries to around $112,000 by 2015 while reducing pensions and additional expenses.

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told a London radio station it was ‘‘about the worst time to advocate a double-digit pay increase for MPs.’’

Authority chairman Ian Kennedy last week warned that avoiding an increase in salaries could lead to an expenses scandal similar in scale to the one that erupted in 2009 during the previous parliamentary term.

That emerged after freedom of information requests revealed some members of Parliament had abused their expense accounts by purchasing such items as model duck houses and pornographic movies. The scandal led to a series of resignations.

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said Thursday former MP Denis MacShane is to be charged with false accounting over parliamentary expenses claims.

Kennedy said his agency’s proposals, which cannot be blocked by government, would end the era of MPs effectively setting their own salaries and bring their remuneration in line with private sector pay.

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