I do my best to defend the profession of parliamentary politicians, but sometimes it's not easy. Today is one of those days. The Sunday Times reports that a committee of MPs, led by Harriet Harman and The Speaker have overruled the Senior Salaries Review Board and insisted that MPs who lose their seats should be entitled to compensation of a "golden parachute payment" of a year's salary, if they have served for long enough - as an example, an MP who is 50 and served for 17 years would be entitled to a full year's pay, the first £30,000 of which would be tax free! It's been described by critics as a "reward for failure". The SSRB said it should only apply to MPs who are defeated at the ballot box, but the committee has overturned this and it will also, incredibly, apply to MPs who voluntarily retire.
I full accept that there should be a "redundancy" payment of some sort for MPs who lose their seats, but I suggest that a lump sum of six months would be more than enough. It's more than most people would get in other walks of life.
I just cannot understand the mentality of the MPs on this committee who seem to believe that the public will stomach this endless troughing at public expense.In these economic times, if they expect the rest of us to wear hairshirts, the least they could do is do the same themselves.