When my constituents heard about the proposed 10% pay rise for Members of Parliament earlier this year, they were quite rightfully outraged. They wanted to know whether I thought it was fair for MPs to get such a big pay rise when most others were getting a lower one, or indeed no pay rise at all.
I do not think it is fair and I always knew that I would not keep the extra rise. The rise is automatic and there is no mechanism for refusing it before it it hits our pay packets, so I thought the best thing to do would be to donate it to charity.
After careful consideration I thought the most appropriate thing to do would be to donate the money resulting from the extra pay rise to local charities who are working with disadvantaged people in and around Southampton.In the midst of some brutal Tory cuts it is local charities and organisations who are part of the fight to make sure vulnerable people do not fall through the net.
With this in mind I decided to donate two thirds of the extra pay rise to the Rose Road Association. I have worked closely with The Rose Road association since becoming an MP for Southampton Test. They are a charity based in the Aldermoor area of Southampton and they do fantastic work with children who have complex health needs, across Southampton and Hampshire. However the running costs of Rose Road are over £5000 a day, which is why I decided to donate the majority of the rise to them.
The other third of the pay rise will be going to other local charities, which I will be able to reveal later this month.