A backbench politician lamented the paltry wages of MPs – saying they could not afford to babysit their children without “outside interests”.
MPs are paid £ 81,932 a year, but second jobs have been in the spotlight since former North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson resigned in a lobbying scandal.
A new review has been applied after it was revealed that former Attorney General Sir Geoffrey Cox was being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to advise the British Virgin Islands government in a corruption investigation.
Open the door to special interests
The Labor Party has pledged to crack down on outside jobs in certain professions.
The party announced that “MPs cannot take advantage of their mandate and open the door to special interests”, without specifying how this would be defined.
On the government side, Commerce Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan supported the plan to ban paid lobbying of deputies. Yet she supports the old idea that second jobs “bring richness to our role.”
Speaking to Financial Time, Isabel Hardman, author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians, argues that the “wealth” argument does not hold up because there are two classes of MPs:
“Those who sit in comfortable and secure seats who have free time for a second job, compared to those who represent the marginalized, spend their lives on the stump and incur much higher costs.”
Many of those second jobs, she says, “are high-paying directorships that help companies navigate Parliament.”
Argument “We cannot afford a nanny”
Several people on social media have also pointed out that the ‘no money for the kids’ argument doesn’t hold up in a country where the average salary is £ 50,000 less than MPs.
This is based on research that shows that one in two children will be affected by the reduction in universal credit (UC) on average over the next month.
According to government figures, over 3.5 million children in the UK live in households that receive UC payments.
A single working mother said she “already felt the pinch” and feared she would struggle more to feed her eight-year-old daughter when the uprising was suppressed.
She said: ‘What £ 20 means for families like mine is that they can afford healthy, proper food – not just cheap processed foods.
“It means having the heater on for two hours a day so it doesn’t freeze.
“This cut will be devastating for families like ours. “
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