Research undertaken at the University of Leeds reveals that many ex-MPs struggle to prosper after life in the Commons.
The Daily Mail‘s reporting of the findings is typically trenchant. Under a story entitled The Unemployables, correspondent Steve Doughty writes:
"A careers advice company cited in the report warned that a high
percentage of former MPs ‘were commercially unemployable at senior
management level’. Only a handful of them could command salaries in the business
world that matched their Westminster wages, it added. A high proportion
of those who do find work get places on quangos."
Some MPs want to be paid more – particularly Conservative MPs. Sir John Butterfill has even called for a 66% increase. The Mail believes that this report suggests they’re far from worth it: "MPs are fond of complaining that they’re worth far more than they’re paid. Isn’t the truth the exact opposite?"
ConservativeHome columnist Cameron Watt has proposed a £100,000pa salary for MPs but only if they work full-time.
5.45pm: Also revealed today was a 5% increase in MPs expenses to £87.6m. Sky has the story. The best value MP is the Conservative Philip Hollobone.
7pm: This just in from The TaxPayers’ Alliance:
"Expenses per MP (ex. all travel):
1 Conservative £123,370
2 Labour £128,439
3 SNP £129,337
4 Lib Dem £130,589
5 Plaid Cymru £132,144
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“Conservative MPs should be proud that their average expenses are lower than the other political parties. However, their expense claims have still gone up by around 7 per cent, far more than inflation, so there is still room for improvement. Plaid Cymru MPs should go to the back of the class.”