British PM Cameron says to freeze government ministers' pay for 5 years
British government ministers will have their pay frozen for another five years as the government tries to reduce the budget deficit, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday.
Cabinet ministers receive 134,565 British pound ($208,000) a year, including their parliamentary salary. Their pay has been frozen since 2010, when it was cut by 5 percent as part of the then-coalition government's austerity efforts.
Cameron's Conservatives, who won a surprise majority in this month's election, have pledged to find 25 billion pounds ($39 billion) of spending cuts over the next two years as they seek to turn a 5 percent budget deficit into a surplus by 2018/19.
"We will continue to take the difficult decisions necessary to bring spending down and secure our economy," Cameron wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper.
"I've decided to freeze the pay of the ministers in the government ... as we continue knuckling down as country, we will all play our part."
An independent body which oversees lawmakers' pay and expenses has recommended all 650 members of parliament, including ministers, receive a 10 percent pay rise this year which would take their parliamentary salary to 74,000 pounds. Cameron has called on it to reconsider this proposal.
In the past when the independent body has raised lawmakers' pay, the government has decreased what ministers earn on top of their MP salary so that their overall package remains unchanged. ($1 = 0.6457 pounds)