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MPs who are net contributors to the exchequer

Now parliament has decided that more information needs to be declared and that some of the income that MPs receive other than for being an MP needs to be declared it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

It is a bit odd that only part of the external income is to be declared. An MP who rents out a flat has income from this, that MP also has to spend some time managing the tenancy even it it is merely to appoint a managing agent. However, it appears that this income does not have to be declared.

We will need to look at whether the whole of an MPs tax return needs to be declared.

I am one of the MPs with a larger extra parliamentary income than most. That mainly comes from John Hemming & Co now known as JHC LLP which is a parthership that I continue to be a partner in and chair the monthly partners meetings. This is a company I founded in 1983.

Chairing the meeting takes me on the Jubilee line over to London Bridge at about 10am and I return before 2pm. Hence it takes about 4 hours a month.

I take the view that the key test for MPs is whether or not they do a good job as far as their constituents are concerned. For example I chair the Lib Dem Group on the City Council and I attend meetings of the Leadership Team. That actually takes me more time than chairing JHC LLP. I don't get paid any extra for being involved with the City Council. However, I don't think this is problematic. In fact I think it is good to have MPs who are in touch with what is going on.

In starting work bringing together the figures that I need to declare I have thought of some interesting questions.

One of the interesting things to spot is firstly how many MPs earn more from outside parliament than from the tax payer. Then there is a question of how many MPs pay the taxpayer more than the taxpayer pays them. In calculating this it is sensible to take into account the Salary and probably the ACA figures (although you could consider the ACA as expenses), but probably not travel costs although you could include those.

Although I think I fit into this category - I am checking the figures, I am not sure that there will be that many more MPs who are net contributors to the exchequer.

I am aiming to get my figures together so I can fulfil the new rules within a week or two. It is not as easy as some simply because I don't get paid a salary for anything other than parliamentary activity (although I used to get a small sum from OMX). The business income I have is more like investment income and is linked to the profitability of both JHC LLP and my sole trader activities.

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

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KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

LORD HEWART CJ:
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