Saturday, 1 August 2009

MPs Second Jobs

Another MP earlier this week resigned over the new rules banning second jobs, bringing the total of 33 MPs stepping down at the next election. Labour MP Howard Stoate practises as a GP and will stand down due to believing the change would "diminish" his work in parliament.

It is important that MPs declare their interests from not just second jobs, but investment. For example if they work in some capacity for a company, it's going to be highly likely the company will get a contract from the government, likewise if they have shares in companies. I don't think it unreasonable given a judge or jury would need to declare an interest that may jeopardies or influence their judgement, that they do.

If MPs only work in parliament though they can end up just closed within the insular world of the Westminster bubble. That's really counter-productive, as what do they know about life? The average salary is £25,000, earning £80,000 to £150,000 a year and having everything paid for you doesn't gain you life experience.

Howard Stoate's work as a GP would have got him meeting his constituencies and made him a part of the community. I've always found that an issue with my MP, he has no vested interest in my local community. Which is the key factor here, if the job isn't only self interested I don't see what the issue is. The problem comes when it's just about money and a job for the boys. Being transparent about that leaves a paper trail and accountability. To go as far as having no second jobs worries me, parliament will become more insular and detached than it clearly already is.

No comments:

Post a Comment