‘Politicians should rely on taxpayer’ says New Forest West MP Desmond Swayne

A Hampshire MP has defiantly insisted politicians should have second jobs after details of his extra earnings were published.

In a new wave of revelations about outside earnings, New Forest West MP Desmond Swayne was revealed to earn £12,000 a year as a director of a property development firm.

Conservative Mr Swayne also makes around £5,000 in his role as a major in the Territorial Army (TA), while an MP’s basic salary is £61,820.

But the MP has passionately defended the importance of second jobs.

He said: “My argument is it makes you a more effective MP.

“I do not want a Parliament composed of professional politicians reliant on the taxpayer and the allowances they have become accustomed to.

“Being out of touch with reality does not create a good Parliament.

“The last thing I want is people who have never done anything other than politics.

“This whole brouhaha is absolutely absurd.”

Mr Swayne’s interest in the Lewis Charles Sofia Property Fund, which specialises predominantly in holiday developments in Bulgaria, extends to “two to three hours a week”.

This mainly involves conference calls or exchanging documents, and works out at around £80 an hour.

The TA pay covers the minimum requirement of 19 days’ service a year.

Mr Swayne also argued that MPs earning through second jobs was no different to Government ministers being paid extra for their role.

He said: “What is the difference in principle between Govern-ment ministers being paid an extra salary and earning it through private sector roles?”

New rules due to be brought in this week will require all MPs to declare how much they earn from second jobs, the number of hours they devote to them and the nature of the work.

Last week it was revealed that Mr Swayne was among a host of MPs who had repaid some of the money he claimed on expenses.

It confirmed that he had repaid £6,131 he claimed for a new kitchen in 2006 and £60.66 overclaimed for a water bill.

It was also reported that House of Commons staff are urgently investigating why sections of his expenses are missing from official records.

A Commons spokesman admitted that a year’s worth of claims, 2004/5 made by Mr Swayne are absent from the thousands of documents uploaded on to Parliament’s official website last week.

Among other claims under Mr Swayne’s additional costs allowance which was designed to enable MPs to maintain a second home which totalled £73,207 over four years, was £1,087 to cover the annual service charge on his flat.

Comments (8)

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10:55am Mon 29 Jun 09

Jim Smyth says...

And why shouldn't they? As long as all the tax implications and the like are above-board, there's no problem

security word: take-post
And why shouldn't they? As long as all the tax implications and the like are above-board, there's no problem security word: take-post Jim Smyth

12:24pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Lone Ranger says...

Jim Smyth wrote:
And why shouldn't they? As long as all the tax implications and the like are above-board, there's no problem security word: take-post
Quite simple JIm they cant do the job properly now without having further distractions and in some case a "conflict of interests"

In addition if an MP carries out another job from any of his homes, that he has claimed expenses on, isnt the taxpayer the one who is financing his second job and employer??

For the MP's to say it keeps them up to date with the "ouitside world" is rubbish and an excuse.

How about, as some have stated its not done for the money, then donate it to charity.

No....are paid well in salary and expenses to serve the citizens of this Country in a FULL-TIME capacity...now get on and do it.
[quote][p][bold]Jim Smyth[/bold] wrote: And why shouldn't they? As long as all the tax implications and the like are above-board, there's no problem security word: take-post[/p][/quote]Quite simple JIm they cant do the job properly now without having further distractions and in some case a "conflict of interests" In addition if an MP carries out another job from any of his homes, that he has claimed expenses on, isnt the taxpayer the one who is financing his second job and employer?? For the MP's to say it keeps them up to date with the "ouitside world" is rubbish and an excuse. How about, as some have stated its not done for the money, then donate it to charity. No....are paid well in salary and expenses to serve the citizens of this Country in a FULL-TIME capacity...now get on and do it. Lone Ranger

1:30pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Condor Man says...

What a waste of time, £5000 for worthy work in the TA (let's remember TA have been out in Iraq) compared to some who have 5 jobs like Alan Milburn. Good on Mr Swayne, I wish my MP had his courage.
What a waste of time, £5000 for worthy work in the TA (let's remember TA have been out in Iraq) compared to some who have 5 jobs like Alan Milburn. Good on Mr Swayne, I wish my MP had his courage. Condor Man

1:51pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Lone Ranger says...

Condor Man wrote:
What a waste of time, £5000 for worthy work in the TA (let's remember TA have been out in Iraq) compared to some who have 5 jobs like Alan Milburn. Good on Mr Swayne, I wish my MP had his courage.
Well if he is that tough for being in the TA ( remenber they have been to Iraq )

Tell us how brave he is and when he last went out to Iraq.

This will allow us to determine if he is worth another £5000 in tax payers money.
[quote][p][bold]Condor Man[/bold] wrote: What a waste of time, £5000 for worthy work in the TA (let's remember TA have been out in Iraq) compared to some who have 5 jobs like Alan Milburn. Good on Mr Swayne, I wish my MP had his courage.[/p][/quote]Well if he is that tough for being in the TA ( remenber they have been to Iraq ) Tell us how brave he is and when he last went out to Iraq. This will allow us to determine if he is worth another £5000 in tax payers money. Lone Ranger

2:37pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Linesman says...

Part-time soldier!

Part-time director of a Property Development Company!

How can he be a Full-time MP?

What would be his priority? A constiuent's problem or the Property Development Company's problem?

Which would be dealt with personally and which by one of his minions?

Now that's a tough one to answer!!!!!


Part-time soldier! Part-time director of a Property Development Company! How can he be a Full-time MP? What would be his priority? A constiuent's problem or the Property Development Company's problem? Which would be dealt with personally and which by one of his minions? Now that's a tough one to answer!!!!! Linesman

3:03pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Jim Smyth says...

All the usual "I have less than someone else, ergo the world is unfair! Waaaaah!" nonsense I see
All the usual "I have less than someone else, ergo the world is unfair! Waaaaah!" nonsense I see Jim Smyth

3:30pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Tom Bargate says...

I can see the argument that there are far too many MPs in all parties who have never done anything for a living except politics. But this is an argument for gaining some life experience before becoming an MP. Perhaps we, as voters, should look at our candidates' backgrounds before we cast our votes?

Once you have been elected, all your efforts should go into representing the people who put you there. Or maybe you should say in your election address "If elected, I will continue to hold 3 or 4 directorships and will fit in my Parliamentary responsibilities as best I can" and leave it to the voters.

Des Swayne's comparison with being a cabinet minister is a little bizarre (not that it's something that's ever likely to trouble him personally). We have a system whereby ministers have to be accountable in Parliament. I don't think it's unreasonable, goven their responsibilities, that they get paid an additional allowance. On a smaller scale, I don't see any of Mr Swayne's Conservative colleagues in the Southampton City Council cabinet turning down the extra money.
I can see the argument that there are far too many MPs in all parties who have never done anything for a living except politics. But this is an argument for gaining some life experience before becoming an MP. Perhaps we, as voters, should look at our candidates' backgrounds before we cast our votes? Once you have been elected, all your efforts should go into representing the people who put you there. Or maybe you should say in your election address "If elected, I will continue to hold 3 or 4 directorships and will fit in my Parliamentary responsibilities as best I can" and leave it to the voters. Des Swayne's comparison with being a cabinet minister is a little bizarre (not that it's something that's ever likely to trouble him personally). We have a system whereby ministers have to be accountable in Parliament. I don't think it's unreasonable, goven their responsibilities, that they get paid an additional allowance. On a smaller scale, I don't see any of Mr Swayne's Conservative colleagues in the Southampton City Council cabinet turning down the extra money. Tom Bargate

3:56pm Mon 29 Jun 09

Big Boy says...

I was going to make a comment, but linesman has put it very well.
I was going to make a comment, but linesman has put it very well. Big Boy

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