The authority behind plans to give MPs an 11% pay rise has insisted the planned increase will go ahead despite criticism of the proposal.
Today's proposed pay rises MPs has been reflected in the media as an outrage, when what is outrageous is the tone of debate.
The son of a dementia victim has described the effects of the disease on the day David Cameron announced a doubling in research funding.
Sir Ian Kennedy, chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has defended his controversial plans to give MPs a pay rise of 11%.
Sir Ian insisted that the package of pay reforms but together by his body could not be selected and deselected by popularity. He said:
"This is a package, a package of reforms. You cannot unpick it. You can't say that bit we like and that bit we do not."
He said research done by Ipsa indicated that the overall package had "significant" support from the public.
"Part of the package is that part they don't like, but the package as a whole has significant support from the public.
"The public is far more sophisticated than a lot of people think they are."
MPs will have to contribute more to their pensions under new pay proposals that will see salaries rise to £74,000 in 2015.
The proposals include:
- A one-off uplift in salary to £74,000 in 2015, an 11% rise on their current salaries.
- MPs' pay to be linked to average earnings - if they go up, so will MPs'
- Scrapping of "resettlement payments" worth tens of thousands of pounds per MP - to be replaced with "more modest" loss-of-office payments
- MPs will pay more into their pensions, putting them on par with those in other parts of the public sector
- Expenses and business costs will be more strictly monitored, and MPs will no longer be able to claim for their evening meal
The next Budget will be on March 19, 2014, Chancellor George Osborne told the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has published its recommendations to increase MPs pay to £74,000 in 2015, an 11% rise on what they are currently paid.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the government had written to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) urging them to take account of the overwhelming public anger at a decision to raise their pay by 11%.
Mr Clegg said the letter stressed "how MPs are remunerated really does need to go with the grain of public consent."
But he stressed Ipsa were an independent body, and MPs had no input in deciding on the pay hike.
"The body that has put forward this suggestion is entirely independent of politicians precisely because politicians, when they were deciding on their own pay and rations in the past, got into the total mess of the expenses scandal.
"Some people are suggesting because this body has come up with this bad recommendation we should somehow scrap it. I would be very wary of turning the clock back and going back to the bad old days of MPs being judge and jury of their own pay and expenses all over again."
Ipsa's recommendation was "not cast in stone" and would be reviewed after the election, he added.
MPs deserve a "one-off uplift" in their salaries, the head of the watchdog responsible for pay and expenses has insisted, ahead of today's plans expected to set out an 11% rise.
Writing in the Times, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said his expected pay hike for MPs would not cost taxpayers "a penny more."
Ipsa are planning a tougher-than-expected squeeze on MPs' pensions to cancel out the cost of the pay hike. Sir Ian said the plan would involve a one-off rise, with MPs' wages then increasing at a more measured pace. He said the new plans mean MPs will miss out on a number of "handsome perks".
"Reform is long overdue. Some of the benefits are unjustifiable. The pensions are too generous, the old resettlement payments too handsome and some of the expenses need further tightening.
"We are in no doubt - MPs' pay needs a one-off uplift. Whatever measure you choose - including international comparisons and historic trends - they all lead to the same conclusion: MPs' pay has fallen behind. It needs to catch up.
"We will announce a one-off pay rise. Thereafter MPs' pay will move with the pay of the rest of us. That's a sensible way forward, which we will implement after a further review of conditions in 2015."
The sharp rise in children snatched by a parent and taken to a foreign country is the result of relationships between two people from different countries breaking down, a charity chief told Daybreak.
Acting Reunite director Alison Shalaby explained: "When those relationships break down, one parent wants to return to their home country. So they are making that decision for themselves but also making the decision for the child as well."
- Official figures reveal that the number of deaths being linked to legal highs soared by 80% last year to 52, from 29 in 2011.
- Ten "legal highs" were identified last year for the first time in the UK by a specialist Government system that targets music festivals and tobacco shops.
- A total of 27 new psychoactive substances, also known as legal highs, have now been detected by the Home Office's Forensic Early Warning System since it was set up in January 2011.
Legal highs "are a worldwide problem" with a number of governments in "unchartered waters", a Home Office minister told Daybreak.
Lib Dem Norman Baker said the Government were "looking at a range of options" with legal highs but admitted there was no easy answer to the complex problem.
Legal highs are being sold in "newsagents, petrol stations and take-away food shops", according to a charity supporting professionals working in drug and alcohol treatment.
Chief executive of DrugScope, Martin Barnes, welcomed the Governments review, but warned legal highs were a "new and complex drug situation".
– chief executive of DrugScope Martin Barnes
It has been clear for some time that the law has been unable to keep pace with the chemistry when it comes to the production and supply of new drugs.
As DrugScope's recent Street Drug Trends Survey highlighted, in some areas so-called 'legal highs' are not only being sold online and in "headshops", but in outlets such as newsagents, petrol stations and take-away food shops.
This is an attempt by the Home Office to bolster current enforcement efforts and to see what other legislative options could be brought to bear on this new and complex drug situation.