FOR fans of slang, ‘doing the double’ has always suggested a ne’er do well who sponges off the state by claiming all sorts of benefits, whilst still holding down a job.
No, not MLAs and MPs! Now you’re just being unfair. No it was always muttered in hard-working areas that doing the double was naughty, except when caught, and then it was fair enough to call said offender a ‘benefit cheat.’
In other words playing the system earns grudging respect, whereby getting caught is just stupid.
In the same way Parliamentarians of all shades were caught claiming all sorts of benefits for years and no-one said a word until they were caught.
And so the arguments over double jobbing then commenced.
This week, as Parliament prepared to be dissolved without aid of acidic compounds, came legislation on double jobbing.
No longer will MPs who are MLAs be able to lift their entire Westminster salary and a proportion of their Stormont paycheck. Now it’ll be their MP salary and no dosh for being an MLA.
Will this act as sufficient discouragement from doing the double come the poll results on May 6?