Category Archives: expenses

MPs supplement wages with second jobs

Being an MP is something that most people assume is a full time job. They get paid £74k plus very generous expenses for representing their constituents in parliament, debating laws and policies, and working on committees. They also are expected to work hard within their constituencies, running a regular surgery, attending meetings and so on. Parliament sits for about 160 days a year (it varies from year to year), leaving 73 working days for party conferences, constituent meetings, and so on. Parliament starts as early as 9:30 am, and finishes as late as 10 pm, so it’s not a short day.

However, despite this, 100 MPs have reported as working second jobs. The latest is MP for Stratford-on-Avon, Nadhim Zahawi, who has landed a job as Chief Strategy Officer for Kurdistan oil company Gulf Keystone.

Mr. Zahawi, sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and was chair of the Parliamentary Group on Kurdistan during the last parliament, leading to no end of questions about conflict of interest, in addition to not working full time as an MP. Mwhahaha. Some MPs with second jobs claim that it helps give them additional knowledge and experience. That may be true for a barrister or a doctor, but it’s hard to see how that applies to a lucrative directorship or consultancy.

Mr. Zahawi is far from the only MP to be moonlighting. The BBC reported 100 other MPs also working second jobs earlier this year;

Some may sympathise with the poor underpaid politicians needing extra work, but according to YouGov, the public are not particularly happy with MPs working part time.

Travel Expenses

MPs travel expenses are in the spotlight again. Last week, Reading East MP Rob Wilson was spotted to have claimed 9p to drive 300m to the end of his own road;

It sounded silly at the time – penny pinching, but not evil. John Bercow has decided to show him how evil use of tax payers money should be done properly, claiming £172 for travelling a similar distance in a chauffeur driven car, £199 for dinner in a 5 star hotel and £367 to travel to Luton to give a lecture on reforming expenses. Not bad from a speaker elected to reform MPs expenses. Mwahahaha.