I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about MPs expenses in Iraq, and after a little snooping, I have some solid figures to name and shame some of parliaments worst truants, this is thanks to a quite enlightened drive by Iyyad al-Samarrai, the speaker of the Council of Representatives, to draw up a register of attendees for every session. I was looking to calculate how much each of the worst offenders gets paid per session they attend…and the results aren’t pretty, but were a hell of a lot easier to calculate than I had expected.
The CoR runs on a term basis, with each year being split into three (I believe). There are a total of around 25 sessions in each term. Now, according to parliament’s website, in the first 3 months of this past legislative year, 4 members did not attend a single session, these were: Ayyad Allawi, Ibrahim al-Jaffari, Jammal Ja’afar Mohammed and Mohammed Katouf Mansour (The same four names stick out like a soar thumb in every single record released on the website.) What I wanted to do, initially, was to divide the monthly take-home salary by the number of sessions attended, to find out how much they are paid for each session, but the budding mathematicians among you will realise that dividing a number by 0 doesn’t always work so well.
So, if we work on the assumption that there were 25 sessions held every four months, and the take-home salary was as reported, a conscientious MP should have been paid US$1,728 per session, however :
- Falah al-Naqib was paid US$3,323 per session he attended in that same term;
- Mithal Alousi and Ayyad Jamal al-Deen were both paid US$4,800 per session;
- Saleh al-Mutlaq was paid US$6,171 per session;
- And Ayyad Allawi, Ibrahim al-Jaffari, Jammal Ja’afar Mohammed and Mohammed Katouf Mansour were all paid US$43,200 for attending no sessions.
Now, I am not arguing that a parliamentarians’ worth is in their attendance records, but I really do believe that our members of parliament, the people the Iraqi voter has placed their trust in to represent them, should be doing just that…in parliament!
I should say, my methodology isn’t air-tight but the assumptions I have made are logical ones. I would be happy to amend if people have different information (on salary or the length of each parliamentary term).