Are MPs overpaid wasters…..?

Last night, I went to the Hansard Society’s ‘do’ at Portcullis House on the publication of it’s report by Gemma Rosenblatt entitled ‘a year in the life; from member of public to member of parliament’.

It’s an interesting report, especially for an aspirant politician like me. During the debate, prompted by the fact that MPs have been talking about salary rises again, one of the audience asked the panel if MPs are worth £100,000 per year.

The response of most of the panel was: some are, some aren’t – a response that it’s hard to disagree with, unless you are Anne Treneman, who was quite clear that they’re not worth it. The prevailing view in the media seems to be that MPs are a bunch of wasters who are only ever trying to screw as much money out of the government as possible!

This is unfair! There will be elected officials whether councillors, assembly members or MPs who abuse the system but the idea that someone becomes an MP for the money is just rubbish.

£60,000 is a lot of money but in trying to work out if MPs deliver value for money – hard, as there is no job description – we might be better off looking at the hourly rate. If you take the fact the average MP in their first year works 70 hours a week (according to Hansard’s Report) that’s only £18 per hour*, the amount that a good PA in London can command! So, lets get it into perspective!

I am really worried about how our politicians at all levels are portrayed as low life by the media; it is harmful to our democratic process and it stops people from joining in and getting involved.

There are those that bring it on themselves and there are those that give all others a bad name. Would that I might have the opportunity to find out what it is about power that seems to corrupt many politicians. But it doesn’t corrupt all and we need to remember that and make being a politician something for young people, from all backgrounds, to aspire to!

Now, how do we do that….?

*assuming 6 weeks holiday per year, which many of them won’t take.


Anonymous said...
8 Dec 2006, 10:47:00

well maybe they should take the holidays/time due to them and we may get better performance out of them ..

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