Images have emerged of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reportedly enjoying a holiday in Eastern Europe – but how does an MPs holiday allowance compare to other professions?
Now it has certainly been a big year for the Labour leader – who upset the odds to secure an impressive General Election result and few would begrudge him a getaway.
But when you look at the full amount of time that Members of Parliament are given off each year compared with say a cleaner or an NHS nurse, it does seem a little unfair.
In fact one Liverpool MP – Stephen Twigg – is now calling for a change to Parliamentary process which could see that discrepancy narrowed.
So first up, what holidays to Members of Parliament currently get?
This year Parliament will break up for a rather sizeable 110 days altogether.
MPs are given a chunky 19 days off over Christmas as well as a nice little week at home in November.
During the party conference season in September and October, they are handed 25-days away from the Commons.
To make the comparison easier, our figures included public holidays in MPs time-off, but not weekends, so it works out as 80-days holiday each year.
Now it is important to point out that many MPs will spend their time away from the green benches working hard in their local constituency – but they are not actually obliged to do this in said downtime.
How does this compare with everyone else?
Well almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday each year – which includes bank holidays.
Other professions –
If you are a National Health Service nurse, you are currently allowed 35 days off a year – made up of 27 days holiday and eight public holidays.
Their entitlement goes up to 33 days after ten years service – but obviously that is still a way off what our political leaders are handed.
So just to be clear – that is a difference of 45 days.
Consultant doctors do a little worse than nurses when it comes to said holidays – with 32 total allotted days.
So compared with the honourable members in Parliament – that is difference 48 days.
If you currently working behind the till or at the Drive-Thru of a McDonalds fast food restaurant you are entitled to 30 days away from the Big Macs and McFlurry’s each year.
That is a whopping difference of 50 days with MPs.
On average a cleaner is given just 28 days off a year – which creates an even bigger discrepancy with elected members of 52 days.
There is often a lot of debate about the length of time teachers get off each year compared with other professions – with some arguing its too long and others pointing out that educators have to spend their holidays planning lessons and marking.
But whatever side of the debate you come down on – it still doesn’t match up with MPs.
Teachers currently get 65 days off a year – 15 behind those in Parliament.
Liverpool MP – time for a change
West Derby MP Stephen Twigg pointed out that for many members, time away from the Commons is spent working in the constituency – but he also agreed that changes could be brought which could redress the balance a little.
He said:”I think its really important to emphasise that the job of an MP these days is in part what they do in their local community and actually I find that having some time, during a recess period to be in my constituency on days when I would normally be in London is actually incredibly helpful.”
“However, I do think there is an issue with the period between July and the Autumn – I think it is time for the party conferences to be changed, so that they either meet earlier or at weekends so that Parliament can resume in September and sit right the way through to Christmas, without the conference recess that we have at the moment.”