Westminster's out for summer

Maya Driver

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It's not only oblivious school kids and lackadaisical students who enjoy long, envy-inducing summer breaks. Our very own government representatives, the members of parliament, also get about 80 days of recess from their strenuous labours. Despite MPs earning salaries in excess of £60k per annum, parliament shuts down for 3 months while MPs concentrate on their constituencies, catch up on paperwork and plan their legislative agendas for the following year. And also take exotic beach holidays with their families, no doubt.

Our parliament is not the only one to have a summer recess - this occurs in many other countries too. But do you think it is the best way for the government to operate? Many people feel that it impedes the process of government. And while it sounds very admirable that these MPs spend extra time working in their constituencies, they're not formally obliged to. Ultimately, should an MP wish to spend three months sunning himself in St. Tropez, there's nothing to stop him doing so.

Some MPs are opposed to the long recess and in 2002 the House of Commons voted that parliament should resit for 2 weeks during September. However, as soon as 4 years later the practice was formally dropped. Evidently just 2 weeks out of their busy 3 month schedule working hard to empower the people they represent is just too much to ask of them.

In light of all the recent expenses scandals, do you suspect that some MPs might be planning to use the coming summer months supporting foreign economies with taxpayers' money? Or do you believe, or even know for certain, that MPs perform valid services over the summer recess? Leave a comment and share your opinions with us. %Poll-31697%