Sunday 31 May 2009

Means Testing for MPs

Many state benefits, most notably pensions, are means tested, quite often resulting in hard working people who have put money aside throughout their working lives losing out to the reckless who lived as if there was no tomorrow.

But if means testing is good enough for the general public, then it should be good enough for MPs whose pension pots are provided for by us.

For years, Ministers from all parties have accepted lucrative directorships which they would not have received had they not held important public positions. In many (most?) instances, the Ministers are not sufficiently qualified to be employed by these companies if they applied through the normal channels. They are employed simply because they bring with them their little black book of contact names and because it looks good to have their names on the letterhead.

These MPs are thus profiting from the experience gained when they were supposed to be working for us. It would therefore seem only fair to deduct these earnings from their parliamentary pension pots.

And for good measure, any MPs found to have been troughing without reasonable cause should have that sum deducted from the pension pot as well.

What many MPs still fail to understand is that it is completely unacceptable for them to apply a different set of rules to themselves than to us. It is manifestly unfair that those MPs who have now decided to stand down at the next election as a consequence of their troughing, should still be able to benefit with an enhanced pension paid for by us.

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