Comment Comment & Analysis Analysis

Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales), July 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Comment Comment & Analysis Analysis


Byline: Politics, comment and analysis, edited by Tryst Williams

THE row over a proposed pay rise for MPs and calls for a ban on some outside sources of income highlights a raging debate.

A proposal to increase MPs' salaries to PS74,000 by 2015 has already gone down like a lead balloon in a country reeling from austerity pay freezes.

And calls for a ban on outside directorships and consultancies seems to be gaining traction after the fallout from the Falkirk debacle, concerns about the reach of lobbying, and the still-lingering memory of OUR VIEW the expenses scandal.

Against this backdrop, our report today on how Welsh MPs are legitimately earning up to PS110,000 extra a year through second jobs and - at the other end of the scale - PS75 a pop for completing a 15-minute survey will raise hackles in a nation where even half a politician's salary is seen as a good wage.

Supporters of the current system claim lower wages in the Commons merely lead to more "career politicians" lacking life experience and appearing out of touch.

Yet what could be less "out of touch" than a PS65,000 wage, astonishing fringe benefits and the chance to do a spot of moonlighting? As Paul Flynn says, MPs already receive a full-time wage for a full-time job. Which is exactly as it should be.

WELSH tourist chiefs are not up to the job. There is so much of Wales that is not used and never heard of - for example the beauty of the Rhondda or Glanaman and Upper Cwmtwrch and hundreds of other places which are ideal for tourists longing for outstanding views and fresh mountain air.

Swansea, for instance, could enhance its chances of being made City of Culture if it made use of Kilvey Hill.

HARRY LEWIS Port Tennant, Swansea YOUR VIEW This natural asset is just waiting for development. …

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