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Ali is an economist and political analyst, working at a private UK-based company. He worked previously at the World Health Organisation and has an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS. You can follow him on Twitter (@alialsaffar).

MPs’ expenses: it keeps getting worse

Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, made the news today because he complained that losing his ministerial car was ”an absolute pain”…having just told his department that half of them could be sacked. I guess it is to be expected from a Cameron acolyte.

Jawad al-Hasnawi, of the Iraqi parliament (yes..it still exists) went one better. He complained that he is yet to receive the $50,000 allowance each MP is allocated to buy a car, and the ID3m they get to rent a house. Hasnawi is complaining that ”All the Government residences allocated for Parliament Members were sold to the former Parliament Members. Through this action, Al Maliki’s Government violated Article 127 of the Constitution regarding this issue”, saying that he can not to do his job because he cant get to the Green Zone. The problem is, this man, like his 325 peers, gets paid $10,000 a month.

Mr Hasnawi’s complaints may have been greeted with some more sympathy had the parliamentarians actually been holding sessions. Since March 7th, one has been held…for an entire 18 minutes. So Mr Hasnawi….poor Mr Hasnawi…got paid $555 a minute for his job. And it looks like he might average more than that this month, given that sessions keep being cancelled and postponed.

Hasnawi’s sentiments really encapsulate the problem we face in Iraq: the gargantuan divide between the political class and the people they are supposed to be representing.

One Comment on “MPs’ expenses: it keeps getting worse”

  1. JAbass July 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Did you see what Haider Al-Abadi said about MP’s wages yesterday?

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