Cash-in-hand, or no cash at all?
Treasury minister David Gauke stirred controversy earlier this week when he criticised cash-in-hand payments.
Today I received an email to inform me that David Gauke was advertising for an unpaid intern in April. Although no salary was offered, the MP for South West Hertfordshire kindly offered to compensate for reasonable travel expenses to Rickmansworth which can be located in Zone 7.
For a minimum of six months, the intern was expected to cover administration, basic correspondence, diary management, fundraising, campaigning and other tasks. The applicants were expected to have strong communication, IT and organisational skills – and also be a recent graduate or student. So not much expected then for the lack of salary, luckily.
As the Treasury minister commented that cash-in-hand payments are morally wrong, it begs the question: what’s worse, cash-in-hand, or no cash at all?
David Gauke has been contacted for comment, update will follow.
Update: David said
“In short, this is a role helping out in my constituency party. As with most constituencyassociations, South West Hertfordshire Conservatives relies on volunteers and cannot afford to pay a large number of staff. Most of the role involves working with the local party on matters like council election campaigns rather than working for me. In addition to work in the constituency office, there is also a chance to spend some time in Westminster learning about Parliament. It provides an opportunity to do some interesting voluntary work and learn something about politics. It is the type of work experience offered by many MPs, constituency associations and media organisations.”
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