Should MP's Employ Family Members?

  oresome 16:01 01 Feb 2008

It seems to be a common practise with over 70 Tory MP's employing relatives and the other parties no doubt having similar ratios.

Do those employed go through a selection process, prove to be the best candidate and get paid the going rate for the type of work done?

Is the practise OK providing it's declared?

Is there a more efficient way of administering an MP's workload than each one employing his/her own team?

  sl2 16:08 01 Feb 2008

Due to the nature of there job's they should let the public decide this & i think that way its a fair system, i dont belive they should just go ahead as they take liberties as it is, i personaly dont have a issue them having family members involved BUT where i part company with them is if they have just been given the job & no outside candadites have been brought forwards for interviews & there family member has outright been given the job when there could be some member of the public better suited for the position..

  newman35 16:12 01 Feb 2008

Allowing family members to be employed (and not necessarily disclosed) is an invitation to 'cook the books' - so better to not allow it.
I know some MP's wives are excellent workers, but this door requires closing, as MP's are now losing all credibility with the public.
We see that THEY make their own rules, 'police themselves' and when caught in the trough barely get a slap on the wrist.
Can you imagine if Joe Bloggs defrauded his boss of over £13k - would he be temporarily sent home and then allowed back on full pay and pension a few days later??!!
Dream on.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:13 01 Feb 2008

I do not see any problem providing the family members had the experince for the position. We would all do the same given the chance. What I have a problem with when the 'family members' do nothing for the money.


  newman35 16:20 01 Feb 2008

But only with full disclosure and PUBLIC independant scrutiny could we know when someone is/is not doing a 'real' job.
Take these matters out of the House of Commons scrutiny and open it all up - then some esteem for MP's could be regenerated.

  johndrew 16:22 01 Feb 2008

I can see no reason why family members should not be employed by MPs. However, since public funds are being used, it would also seem reasonable that a full independent audit could be applied to all funds used in paying all staff on a random basis. Further, a full list of staff with payments and job descriptions should be lodged with the auditor.

If unlawful/unreasonable payments are suspected the MP concerned could be made to answer to some body similar to the Public Accounts Committee. If then proven formal action should be taken to ensure the person concerned is taken before the Courts. MPs are after all subject to the Law and, where necessary, made to respect it.

  Bingalau 16:34 01 Feb 2008

I think if all MP's were required to use non family members, the expenses would not be so big. They would probably only pay the person doing the job half as much. (There's got to be an inclination to pay the relative involved the maximum allowed). This would result in a big saving to the hard pressed tax payer. (Me).

I have always thought there are too many of them representing us in Parliament anyway. Cut them by 50% then pay the remaining good ones more. But no travelling expenses or allowances for housing etc. far too many perks involved at present.

  newman35 16:36 01 Feb 2008

The problem all stems from MP's 'allowances'.
This is the extra that they may spend at their own discretion, and is open to all kinds of abuse, from staffing to second homes. It would take a Saint not to fall into greed.
I think MP's should be paid MORE.
Each 'seat' should have a fixed amount of pay attached to it, and not a penny more. Seats remote from London would carry extra, to reflect travel/hotel/administration costs.
But when someone decides they wish to be an MP they can see exactly what they will get and then work out whether they could manage, and , if not, don't stand.
If he wishes to employ his family - fine - it comes out of his set pay. The public is not being defrauded.
OK - knock me down, folks!

  Earthsea 16:46 01 Feb 2008

If the public had faith in their politicians being people of high moral standards there wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, this isn't the case due to all these sleaze stories we keep hearing about, which is the fault of a relatively few politicians. I still believe most MPs are decent people (believe it or not) doing their job for the right reasons, but due to the latest scandal I think they should be held more accountable and information about who they employ, along with their salaries, should be made available to the public. They've brought it on themselves, and personally I don't mind them employing family members as long as they're being paid appropriately for the job they're doing, and not just being given large amounts of taxpayers' money as pocket money.

  TopCat® 16:59 01 Feb 2008

At the same time it's all about there being complete transparency when it comes to using taxpayers' money. There's nothing wrong in employing competent family members to aid an MP, most of whom do a fine job, but at the same time all this expenditure needs to be firmly and regularly scrutinised by an independent committee. The National Audit Office comes to mind here. TC.

  newman35 17:05 01 Feb 2008

Trouble is 'Westminster' still sees itself as a 'Gentlemen's Club' and thinks they are capable of dealing with their own 'black sheep' (quietly, without rocking any boats) - but, clearly, are not.
USA has anti-nepotism rules for their elected representatives and it seems to work better.

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