7. The current allowance system covers six aspects
of an MP's working life:
a) Living expenses for working away from home
b) Employment of staff
c) Office costs in constituency and at Westminster
d) Travel between constituency and Parliament
and within the constituency
e) Communicating with constituents and the public
f) Redundancy after an election.
8. In this paper we deal with the issues in this
order, covering both root and branch changes and the specific
SSRB recommendations which have been referred to the MEC by the
House. Work is also being undertaken by the Department of Resources
to provide a memorandum to the Baker review. The House agreed
on 24 January 2008 that Sir John Baker should produce a new pay
mechanism which would allow parliamentary pay to be set without
any decision by Members themselves. 
9. The current system of financial support for Members
in their parliamentary work is a mixture of different approaches.
In some respects Members operate like small businesses, employing
their own staff and renting their own offices in constituencies.
In other respects, MPs are treated like employees of the House,
claiming travel and accommodation expenses and being provided
with offices at Westminster. It may be that a different modern
model is neededperhaps that of a non-executive director
who works closely with the organisation, is paid and reimbursed
for costs incurred while working for it, but is not an employee.
Even this would not properly reflect the fact that Members are
hired and fired (through their parties) by the electorate and
have no security of employment. One MP has pointed out to us
that for the first time in his life, he has no contract of employment.
He suggested that there should be a contract for Members covering
not just salary, but also employment of staff, reimbursable costs
and expenses, registration of interests, conduct and publication
4 Sir John Baker issued a consultation paper on his
review, which is available at: http://baker-review.ome.uk.com/binary/documents/Sir%20John%20Baker%20Review%20of%20MPs'%20Pay%20and%20Pensions%20Consultation%20Document%2019%20March.pdf Back