Ban MPs outside business interests and scrap expenses
I think it's time that MPs focused on the job they were elected to do.
Today's article in the Guardian highlights just how distracted many MPs are from their elected roles.
It's time to ask, who are they really working for?
"Twenty MPs declare more than £100,000 from second jobs
Former ministers among those saying that they received combined £7.1m in income from outside parliament"
Aside from the distraction to their primary roles there are also massive questions around conflicts of interest:
"One of the top earners is Charles Hendry, who was until September 2012 a minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Hendry says he received an income of £100,000 from three companies working in the energy sector: Forewind, an offshore wind group, Atlantic Superconnection, a proposal to bring energy into the UK from Iceland, and the energy and commodities group Vitol.
Hendry told the Guardian his private sector roles were preparation for his departure from parliament at the next election.
“As you will be aware, I am leaving parliament at the next election,” he said. “As there is no longer a resettlement payment for MPs who step down voluntarily (quite rightly), I have started the process of developing external interests ahead of that time.”
MPs can rightly argue that they have a stressful and difficult job, with long hours.
With this in mind I propose:
* Raising MPs basic salary
* Banning all outside business interests
* Scraping expenses entirely
The goals for this proposal are simple:
* MPs focused solely on their elected roles.
* Remove conflicts of interest and distractions with business interests.
* Do away with all the time and money spend on administering and regulating the use of the expenses system.