Is being an MP a part-time job?

Do you fancy being an MP? Yes? Me too. You’ll be on £74,000 (after the election) but if you feel a sense of entitlement to more there are top-up opportunities. Holidays are better than even teachers’ holidays and pensions and perks are top-of-the-range.

Do you fancy being an MP? Yes? Me too. You’ll be on £74,000 (after the election) but if you feel a sense of entitlement to more there are top-up opportunities. Holidays are better than even teachers’ holidays and pensions and perks are top-of-the-range.

Getting elected is a hassle but once you’re elected, you’re ‘elected’, so to speak.

Malcolm Rifkind, Tory MP for Kensington told an under-cover reporter, “You’d be surprised about how much free time I have. I spend a lot of time reading. I spend a lot of time walking. I’m self-employed…” It’s rich that the chair of the Commons Security Committee fell for the sting, but his boast about how much free time he has was revealing.

Is being an MP (or a TD or an MLA) a full-time job, or isn’t it? Talk about our politicians double-jobbing has been misleading because it has focused on pay. The issue ought to be about time.

South Antrim MP Willie McCrea spent 30 hours a week last year moonlighting as a clergyman in Magherafelt. Tory MP Geoffrey Cox spent over 37 hours a week moonlighting as a barrister. Tory MP Stephen Dorrell spent over 33 hours a week on his second job. East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and Cúil Raithin agus Léim an Mhadaidh MP, Gregory Campbell are both elected to the Assembly as well as to Westminster. So it goes on…

Of course we have MPs who don’t have other jobs. And I’m not raising an issue about money, I just wonder if it’s OK to be a part-time MP?