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I have no problem with an MP receiving a decent salary if they do a good job representing their constituency. However certain MPs are as good as invisible and are just there for the ride, Labour's David Crausby being a good example of those who simply make up the numbers. It is certainly true that the modern career-politican has little to offer outside of the Westminster bubble. That could be a major reason as to why our country is in such a mess, MPs with no experience in business or public service are given charge of essential government departments.

There are a variety of reasons why ex MPs struggle:

1. Age - often a defeated MP is 50+
2. If the ex MP had been in Parliament for any length of time, their expertise in their former employment would have become out of date.
3. Employers are wary of taking on anybody who still harboured an ambition to return to the Commons.
4. Many employers are wary of those with strong political views.

The SNP's and Labour's expenses are bound to be higher then our's as they have a lot more members travelling from scotland then we do.

The stats exclude travel Jack.

Yes, but Editor, there's just something inherently more expensive about being Scottish. Ask Mr Keith.

An interesting post. As someone who recruits senior execs for the City, I think there's something in Fraser Nelson's analysis. £100k would be a better benchmark of a salary, but it should be constructed so as to preclude any outside interests. The fair rejoinder is that this will only create career politicians, but that is rather where we are now. What it might do is encourage a better quality of candidate, as I have to say, having been involved in a number of selections in safe seats, the Candidates' List has a really tragically low calibre of people on it.

To Nick Bennett's points, all fair. This said, proximity to power is always useful to a prospective employer. Labour MPs were of no use when they were out of power for so long and the same now applies to the average Tory backbencher. Why give you a non-exec role at Merrill Lynch when you can get someone of real talent.

Overall, the salary needs pushing markedly upwards, but with restrictions on outside interests. However, the overall gene pool badly needs improving or it will continue to be the case that the most talented and capable individuals pursue other careers.

Short story day was it?

As parliament's powers reduce, so surely should MP's wages. What exactly do they do?

Being an MP should be a civic service to the Country, not a money-making scheme. I think the financial incentives should be reduced. Further, I think allowances should be scrapped and an independant budgeted body should handle London living for MPs. The communication allowance should also be scrapped - its a dreadful idea.

MPs should also be required to demonstrate that they have taken the most economical option. 1st Class flights with your wife should lead to that individual only being reimbursed to the tune of an economy ticket for one.

Someone once said that Jack Cunningham 'cannot look at a wine list without picking the most expensive'. This is a scandal, politics is not 'show business for ugly people', its serious and dedicated. We need to fight to stop the gravy train attitude, it undermines our country.

90+ days holiday.
And these people govern us?

And Gordo thinks he can ride rough-shod over demands for a referendum, by saying parliament will decide.


I read that MP`s expenses are decided by a cosy all party committee, so don`t expect any cuts. Turkeys don`t vote for Christmas.

The Mail are being a bit disingenious when they describe these figures as 'MPs pocketing £200k'.

Most of these expenses go on office costs, staff allowances etc. If you take your average newspaper editor, and add the cost of running his office and payig his immediate staff to what he 'pockets', his apparent salary would steepen pretty swiftly.

One way to avoid this annual mudslinging is to stop paying expenses to MPs, who then pay their staff etc. Why not have standard office/staff expenses/contracts etc, all met centrally - like any other organisation? NHS CEOs, Chiefs of Police, Headteachers - none of them have to hire their secretaries, pay for their offices, then claim the money back!!

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