Monday, 6 July 2009

Gissa Job!

Hot on the heels of the expenses scandal comes another thorny issue for our MPs – they must now register what other paid work they do in addition to their day jobs as ‘honourable’ members.

Now most commentators thought this issue would cause maximum embarrassment to the Tory Party – because many of Tory MPs enjoy considerable earnings from second or even third jobs outside Parliament - ‘moonlighting’ as it’s commonly called.

Bear in mind that MPs’ are paid a substantial salary (£64,466) and benefit from a generous final salary pension scheme – just for doing their day jobs.

If you ask a politician about their hours of work, many of them will tell you that they work all the hours under the sun – that there’s not enough time in the day/week/month/year – blah, blah, blah.

A Lib Dem MP told listeners on BBC radio the other day that he worked an average 70-80 hours every week!

Many also say that while they enjoy long spells away from Parliament – they’re not actually on holiday or having a nice break – because they’re hard at work back in their local constituencies.

But after all the revelations about Westminster MPs and their expenses – the public mood has changed – people want a system that is independently and externally monitored - as opposed to one where MPs' make up the rules themselves.

So, consider the following example - from a part of the country where lots of low paid workers are still fighting for equal pay.

Adam Ingram, is the Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow – which covers a big chunk of the South Lanarkshire council area. Adam is a former defence minister and, in a previous life, he was a full-time union official with Nalgo (now Unison).

Adam has been a busy little bee – he crams a lot into his hectic schedule – as well as acting as a tribune of the people down at the Palace of Westminster Adam records the following list of outside earnings - in the latest register of MPs’ interests:

£45,001 to £50,000 – as non-executive chairman of Sign Point Secure Ltd
£20,001 to £25,000 – as non-executive chairman of Argus Scotland Ltd
£10,001 to £15,000 – as director for the International School for Security and Explosives Education
£20,001 to £25,000 – as consultant to Argus Libya UK LLP
£50,001 to £55,000 – as consultant to Electronic Data Systems Ltd

Phew, that comes to whacking great £170,000 at the top end - plus another £64,766 – for Adam’s day job as an MP – making a grand total of £234,766!

Just how does Adam find the time to do all this? If you’re one of his constituents, why not ask Adam yourself by sending an e-mail to:

Adam is standing down at the next election.