Duties and responsibilities of MP’ greatly diminished with devolution
The establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 raised important questions about the future of local representative roles of MP’s.
The Scottish Parliament took over responsibility for many of the issues that individual constituents were likely to raise with their elected members, as well as important strategic matters such as economic development, transport and health previously central to the role remitted to MP’s.
Members of the Scottish Parliament, MSPs assumed the duties of local representative and spend many hours each week fulfilling them. Their contact with interest groups and work with local community groups and party members is also more frequent. MSPs spend more time on these activities than did Scottish MPs previously
The traditional local role of the MP in Scotland, which was highly rated and significant in terms of commitment of time, was given up to members of the Scottish Parliament, MSP’s.
But some MPs are determined to hold onto the past and the resulting duplication of roles are frequently the cause of confusion for constituents dependent in part on the level of co-operation existing between the two local members. A problem exacerbated if the local MSP is a list member from another political party.
Benefits and Allowances made available to MP’s
Gross Salary & Pension: £120-£140k
Staffing: Constituency based. Assistance with casework, correspondence, surgeries, visits, meetings, organising events, and outreach activities. Mainly covers payroll costs but can also be used for pooled staffing services and incidental expenses for volunteers. It is paid directly to the employee. Annual charge £150-180k.
Office costs: Covers rent, stationery, telephone, broadband, and other costs attributed to running a constituency office. Annual charge £14-£20k
Accommodation: To meet costs incurred as a result of working from two permanent locations. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, it is usually only possible to claim for accommodation and associated costs in either Scotland or London, not both. Annual Charge £25-£40k.
Travel and Subsistence Allowance: Is for travel between Scotland and Westminster, within the constituency, and elsewhere on parliamentary business. MPs can only travel First Class if the fare is demonstrably cheaper than a standard class ticket. Annual cost £12-£18k
MPs may only claim for the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks where they have stayed overnight either outside the London area or Scotland. This is limited to £25 for each night of a stay but can be for purchases made in the day.
Summary: The role and responsibilities of Scottish MP’s at Westminster is greatly diminished following devolution. And yet MPs still enjoy the same benefits, privileges and allowances as English MP’s who’s role has remained unchanged.
The admitted number of hours freed up for other duties at Westminster is around 25 weekly and the absence of any tangible promotion of the cause of Scottish independence and claims of MPs promoting LBGTQ agendas, wild partying, alcohol consumption, extra marital sex affairs and harassment both physical and sexual within the group is embarrassing and of concern to constituents.
Something needs to be done to ensure the Scottish taxpayer is provided with value for money. We are not getting it from the present group of SNP MPs.