With reference to last week’s article, MSP Hume defends £13,000 hotel bill, I have to confess to having some sympathy with Jim Hume’s predicament.
Our parliamentarians are entitled to be reimbursed a reasonable sum for costs incurred in the performance of their duties. Unfortunately, as the Westminster situation so vividly demonstrated, it is difficult to have a system which is both fair and not capable of being abused.
I rather suspect that if Mr Hume had been able to choose one of his Edinburgh properties for his Holyrood accommodation, the cost to the public purse may well have been similar to the hotel costs.
Where, however, I have no sympathy for Mr Hume’s position is in relation to his claiming two salaries – more than £55,000 as an MSP and £15,000-£20,000 as a councillor.
Mr Hume claims, in his declaration of interests, that he works 36 hours per week as a councillor. If that figure is correct the consequence is that he cannot be regarding his job as an MSP as being a full-time one. I would have thought that a salary of over £55,000 implies more than part-time input. Furthermore, running his property business presumably requires time as well.
Mr Hume should have stood down from one of the salaried (pensioned as well) posts as it is not possible to do justice to both jobs.
David S. W. Williamson