Child poverty rises 20% in constituencies represented by MPs who earn £ 6million – Byline Times
Sam Bright and Sascha Lavin reveal rising levels of deprivation seen in fields represented by top-paid MPs
On average, there has been a 20.4% increase in child poverty in recent years in the 10 constituencies represented by the highest-paid MPs, the Signature Intelligence Team can reveal.
These MPs – who are all Tories – earned a total of £ 6.7million in second jobs from the start of fiscal year 2014/15 to the end of fiscal year 2019/20. Meanwhile, the number of children living in poverty in their ridings increased by 4,526, an average increase of 20.4%.
One of the biggest earners in this period was John Redwood, the pro-Brexit Conservative MP for Wokingham. Redwood earned over £ 1million from additional jobs from 2014/15 to 2019/20, mostly in the investment banking industry. During the same period, child poverty in Wokingham increased by 35.8%. Records show that Redwood currently earns over £ 200,000 per year for various roles in private equity and investment firms. One role requires Redwood to work 50 hours per month, which equates to one-third of an average month’s work.
Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, also earned over £ 1million in additional income during the period, exclusively through legal advisory work. Meanwhile, child poverty rose 24.5% in the riding of Bruce.
Other top earners in Parliament include Andrew Mitchell – who earned some £ 900,000 from a second job from 2014/15 to 2019/20, while child poverty in his constituency of Sutton Coldfield increased by 18.8% .
Geoffrey Cox, who is Parliament’s biggest employee, earned £ 2.6million from his legal work during the reporting period. While child poverty declined slightly in its Torridge and West Devon headquarters from 2014/15 to 2019/20 – by 3.2% – it increased in subsequent years, from 2015/16 to 2019/20, by 3 , 4%.
Cox has recently drawn strong criticism for his interests in the private sector, which currently provide him with £ 970,000 in additional annual income – on top of his MP salary of £ 81,932. The nature of his outside work has also been examined – recent stories revealing that Cox was working for the British Virgin Islands, defending offshore jurisdiction against corruption allegations made by the British Foreign Office. Cox has also been accused of using his parliamentary office for private consultancy work – allegedly in violation of parliamentary rules.
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The case of Tory MP Owen Paterson, who has been accused of “serious” lobbying on behalf of two private companies that paid him over £ 100,000 a year, has sparked fury over second jobs of deputies. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner imposed a 30-day suspension on Paterson, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially sought to overturn, before reversing his decision under public and political pressure. Paterson has now announced his resignation from Parliament.
In the face of calls for a stricter approach to MPs’ external income, Johnson has now announced new proposals that would bar Representatives from accepting paid work as parliamentary advisers, strategists or consultants. Second jobs for MPs should also be “within reason and should not prevent them from fully performing their duties,” suggest the proposed reforms.
These changes, however, will apparently only prevent a limited number of MPs from continuing their outside employment – given that the vast majority of outside employees do not explicitly work as “parliamentary” consultants.
However, despite these modest proposals, many Conservative MPs seem unhappy with the Prime Minister. Appearing on BBC Newsnight Last night Andrew Rosindell pleaded for Johnson to consider the ‘lifestyles’ of MPs and what they might have to sacrifice if forced to give up their second job.
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This has provoked comparisons with the attitude of the Conservative Party towards people with low incomes – especially those who benefit from universal credit. A £ 20-a-week increase in the flagship benefits program ended in October, affecting 5.8 million claimants. According to the Resolution Foundation, the flat-rate allowance for a single person under 25 has dropped by 25% due to the end of the supplement, while for a couple aged 25 or over their allowance has dropped by 15%. . The £ 20 increase was introduced due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Not showing the same sympathy for Universal Credit applicants as for his fellow MPs, Rosindell told the BBC in July: “I think there are people who like to get the extra £ 20 but maybe they don’t need it”.
‘It really holds my throat to see Tory MPs raising taxes on working families and cutting universal credit by £ 1,000 a year, which will see more children plunged into poverty while lining their pockets “, Wes Streeting MP, Secretary of Shadow Child Poverty, said Signing time.
From 2014/15 to 2019/20, the number of poor children in the UK increased by 540,000, according to official figures. As Signing time previously revealed, the impacts of poverty and cuts in public spending have been felt hard in the poorest ‘Red Wall’ seats in the North of England, the Midlands and North Wales. During this period, for example, child poverty in the North East of England increased dramatically, by 41.9%, from 26% to 36.9%. Meanwhile, child poverty in the south-east of England fell from 24% to 23.8%, while it increased only marginally in the south-west – from 26% to 26.1%.
“A rule for them; a rule for us ”has been a common phrase used to describe the attitudes of MPs, many of whom seem to care more about their own incomes than the well-being of their constituents. Over time, this perception only intensifies.
None of the deputies mentioned in this article, approached by Signing time, responded to our request for comment.
This article was produced by the Signature Intelligence Team – a collaborative survey project formed by Signing time with Les Citoyens. If you want to know more about the Intelligence team and how to finance his work, click on the button below.
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