Saturday, April 19, 2014

Zero Hour MPs

I've submitted an e-petition to the UK Treasury on zero hour contracts for MPs. Once I have the link I'll put it up here.

The proposal is as follows ...

"In a time of austerity, we need to encourage community involvement and efficiency in the political process whilst promoting innovation in technology, a UK growth sector. The proposal is that all MPs should be put on zero hour contracts. On arrival at the House of Commons, constituents will vote (e.g. via mobile phone app) on whether their MP is needed for the day. For Ministers and Shadow Ministers, the entire electorate can vote.

If it is determined that an MP is needed then a standard daily rate plus expenses covering travel costs will be provided. Special exceptions for non attendance (e.g. overseas trips) are allowed.

Voting mechanism should be distributed online and developed through a funded open source effort encouraging community participation and technology innovation. Voting daily on whether an MP is needed should stimulate both community involvement in politics and focus MPs on delivering user needs.

The system should also be extended to the House of Lords."

Link ... to be added.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, employees are happier on zero hour contracts and it would therefore not only be unfair to deny our MPs the right to enjoy such privileges but by introducing them we could hopefully create a more participatory environment.

--- Update 28th April

Alas, the issue of whether or not we could have Zero Hour MPs has been rejected on the following grounds.

This e-petition has been rejected with the following reason given:

E-petitions cannot be used to request action on issues that are outside the responsibility of the government. This includes:
party political material
commercial endorsements including the promotion of any product, service or publication
issues that are dealt with by devolved bodies, eg The Scottish Parliament
correspondence on personal issues

I'm somewhat perplexed as to why the contract arrangements of MPs are outside the responsibility of Government or would be considered party political or how any of the other clauses apply?