Nick Clegg has been rightly very quick to condemn the "Golden Goodbyes" as he has coined them available to MPs who stand down from the House of Commons. Apparently MPs are entitled to pay-off worth up to a year's salary (over £64K) on retirement from the House and resettlement grants worth tens of thousands of pounds which are only available to MPs who stand down at a General Election. It's no wonder all the 13 MPs who have announced they are standing down are hanging on in there to the General Election. I think once the public understands that the extra few months service could cost them all this extra money there will be a big backlash.
Saturday, 30 May 2009
Given the feeling out there at the moment the authorities would be wise to change these rules ASAP. If they don't the clamour for MPs to stand down right now will grow louder. Such calls are already being made in my own constituency of Bracknell where after his now infamous meeting with his constituents Andrew MacKay announced he was standing down a week ago and these parachute payments will surely only make the calls more strident.
It is good to see the Lib Dem leader taking a strong position on this issue. I feel this will resonate well with the public. I think it is clear now that of the 3 leaders, Nick Clegg is taking the initiative in this crisis. Hopefully his ideas for the 100 days to save democracy plan will now gain some traction.