How Do We Make MP’s More Accountable?
We want to shake up the thinking in government. How do we test the stability of the system and take it to breaking point? Apart from appointing a system of Sortition, obviously.
The first policy we would employ is one that sees all politicians having at least 5 years’ experience in the “real world” before becoming eligible for consideration of an MP position. That is to say, having worked somewhere other than Whitehall. A typical condemnation of current politicians consists of the route to membership progressing from private school education, Oxbridge education, Whitehall researcher, finally to make MP by 27, never having had a job that would place their perspective in the common fold.
The second policy is an extension of the first, in that it places the Members of Parliament on the same footing as the rest of the country. By being like the rest of the country, the MP’s will have a better understanding of what it is to be a normal citizen of the United Kingdom.
This means that we would propose that the Houses of Parliament should be made into a Limited company under the rule of English law, as found on the Companies House web site.
Then, every Member of Parliament would become a PAYE employee of The Houses of Parliament Limited, with the same rights under English statute as every other employed citizen in the country.
Their expense claims will be subject to the same rules as yours and mine as PAYE employees.
They would not get their annual 10% pay increase. It would be subject to a condition of target-hitting, as per most organisations. If they deliver on their manifesto promises, then they will get a proportion of their increase. It is not appropriate for politicians to decide nurses do not get an index-linked pay increase, but they get a 10% increase based on no solid foundations of performance. Where there is considerable room for improvement, an MP would not get a pay bonus. The people who would dictate this bonus would be that Member’s constituents. It is the same premise as shareholders voting on a CEO’s bonus package, as has been seen recently in Shell Oil where the shareholders voted the CEO’s bonus down by 40%.
Once an MP has been working under these conditions for a year, we feel that the working conditions of every employee across the country would benefit from the new insights MP’s have faced as employees, and thus benefit the UK in total.
Politicians would not get their second house allowance, as they do today. Instead, they would be expected to take the train in every day, and pay their own way, as you and I do. Any politician living within a 90 minute journey to home can commute, as do 1 million people every day on the trains. Should they have a meeting that goes late into the night, they can claim expenses for a local hotel, with stipulations on maximum spend, as millions of employees do every day. A solution the NPP would suggest is a block of apartments similar to what trainee nurses live in instead of hotels. Parliament Ltd owns the block, which can accommodate up to 100 individual politicians, and it is paid for out of company money (taxes in this instance). The savings on hotel and second home accommodation would be immense.
Stand with us and get behind this as a policy to transcend all partisan ideals!