Number of people who have second jobs in Staffordshire

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Fewer than one in 25 workers across Staffordshire have a second job, figures reveal in the year that MPs have faced scrutiny over their work outside Parliament.

The Resolution Foundation said having a second job was rare in the UK, despite being “rampant” in Westminster – which it said may explain the public’s frustration about MPs’ “lucrative extra work”.

Around 14,500 people in Staffordshire had a second job in the year to June, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates. But that’s just 3.5% of all those in employment – similar to the UK average of 3.6%.

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Westminster was rocked last month by revelations over the often large sums of money some parliamentarians receive for doing extra work on top of their main jobs.

The furore came after former Conservative minister Owen Paterson was recently found to have committed “serious breaches” of rules after lobbying on behalf of two firms, for which he earned £100,000 a year.

The Government initially tried to override the findings of the Commons Standards Committee on Mr Paterson’s conduct, but was forced into a U-turn after a backlash against the move.

The debate over MPs’ extra work has prompted concerns of potential conflicts of interest between the organisations paying them, and their duties to voters. Some critics simply feel that their day job should be enough to keep them busy.

The basic annual salary for an MP is £81,932, while the median annual pay before tax for a full-time employee in Staffordshire is £30,533.
The median is the middle of a range of values, which is used to avoid people on exceptionally high salaries skewing the average.

Analysis of ONS data by the Resolution Foundation, which campaigns on living standards, found that the proportion of UK workers with second jobs has fallen slightly in recent decades.

However, the research found there had been a slight rise during the pandemic, which the group said may be down to furloughed workers doing additional work.

Adam Corlett, principal economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While second jobs are rampant in Westminster, they’re extremely rare across the rest of the country, with fewer than one-in-25 workers currently having an additional job on the side.

“Some workers tend to turn to second jobs when economic conditions worsen, and around one-in-seven workers who were furloughed this summer say they were also working in an additional job.

“But second jobs have never been a significant part of working life in Britain, which may help explain why the public have limited sympathy for parliamentarians’ lucrative extra work.”

Asked about the sleaze allegations Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believed the UK was “not remotely a corrupt country”, but added that MPs who break the rules “should be punished”.



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