Wednesday, August 19, 2020

No Member's Day

When Parliament unexpectedly resumed, I was expecting today to be a Member's Day. The last one was on the 29th of July, and as every second Wednesday is given to Member's bills, the regular Parliamentary calendar would have seen today given to Member's business. Unfortunately, it is not to be: the Business Committee determination governing the unexpected sitting says that there will be "no further members’ days in this sitting period." As for what they're doing instead, that's unclear. Yesterday, the House sat for Ministerial statements and Question Time, plus a Covid-19 order authorisation motion, then rose at 16:00 despite there being bills on the Order Paper. If the government isn't going to use this bonus time, should backbenchers have the opportunity to? Or are they all going to collect their $180K salaries for doing nothing for the next few weeks?