Iraqi-born British MP will donate pay rise to charity

Iraqi-born British MP will donate pay rise to charity
Nadhim Zahawi, right, with David Cameron, said he would ‘look at’ donating his pay rise to a charity in his local constituency Stratford-upon-Avon. (Getty Images)
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Updated 09 October 2020

Iraqi-born British MP will donate pay rise to charity

Iraqi-born British MP will donate pay rise to charity
  • ‘I don’t think a pay rise is appropriate. It’s a privilege in many ways to serve your country’
  • Plan to increase MPs’ salary met with public fury amid hardships caused by pandemic

LONDON: Iraqi-born British parliamentarian Nadhim Zahawi has criticized plans for MPs to receive a £3,300 ($4,278) pay rise, and confirmed to Arab News that he will donate his to a charity in his local constituency Stratford-upon-Avon.

“I don’t think a pay rise is appropriate,” the Conservative MP told Sky News. “I think it’s a privilege in many ways to serve your country.”

British MPs’ annual salary currently stands at £81,932. The increase would push it over £85,000. 

Most ministers — those chosen by the prime minister to carry out additional executive responsibilities — earn an additional sum on top of the baseline salary.

But Zahawi is one of the few ministers who take on additional responsibilities without further compensation.

Despite this, he confirmed to Arab News that he would be donating the increase to charity, and said it is "likely" that the money would go to the Shakespeare Hospice, where he has sent previous salary increases.

Andrew Thomson, a head chef at a local Stratford-upon-Avon restaurant, said he welcomes his local MP’s donation.

“It’s nice to hear,” Thomson told Arab News, calling the pay rise for MPs “ridiculous at a time when people are losing their jobs.”

He added: “The people who deserve pay rises are those who work in the NHS (National Health Service) and supermarkets — the people who kept the country going while everyone sat at home.”

News of the planned pay rise has been met with public fury, with many pointing to the economic hardships that significant portions of the British population are experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.