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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taking a pay cut

Conservative Home reports that most Tory candidates expect to see their income fall if they are elected to Parliament. Seventy Two prospective Conservative MPs answered their survey on the financial consequences of entering the Commons and of being a candidate and 55% of them said they would lose money if they won. My heart bleeds.

More interestingly, when asked if they plan to pursue other financial interests if they became an MP, 21% said yes and 29% had not yet made up their mind. Perhaps these candidates should tell their prospective constituents of their intention not to represent them full time if they become an MP.

Well now fair's fair, isn't it: I imagine a good number of these respondents might be talking about writing political comment pieces which is a) lucrative, b) not desperately time consuming and c) doesn't require much in the addition to the actual writing which they wouldn't be doing anyway. That or freelance consultancy which fulfills at least (a) and (b) and probably taps into whatever skills and expertise they would be using to promote their value as a candidate to their party and their constituency.

It depends a lot on what is meant by 'other financial interests'; I don't think it's impossible to combine private sector freelancing with the appropriate level of work one would expect from an MP and if this is an alternative to paying MPs higher salaries at public expense it pay come out on balance as a good thing.
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