On top of the salaries paid to MPs, it seems that there is a substantial amount to be made from advising, teaching and speaking.
Despite missing out on the Labour leadership to his little brother, it seems David Miliband has still managed to keep himself busy during the past 18 months.
On top of a number of lucrative speaking circuit gigs which saw him net £125,000, Miliband was also paid £70,000 for three and a half days of advice work for California-based green technology venture capital firm VantagePoint CleanTech.
With competition now meaning that venture capital has become an increasingly difficult source of finance to secure, that a VC firm is willing to pay such high fees for advice work will be hard to stomach for many entrepreneurs that have failed to secure growth capital.
Furthermore, working out at over £23,000 a day, it begs the question, what knowledge does Miliband possess on the merits of green technology companies to warrant such a fee?
VantagePoint says that he was recruited to advise the company’s investment team on ‘international opportunities and policy innovations’.
A quick look at Miliband’s CV shows that his time in the Labour Party, first as head of policy for Tony Blair in the lead-up to the 1997 general election, and the government, saw him take up posts as cabinet minister for communities and local government, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, before his final government post as secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs.
His position as secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs would have exposed him to a number of British businesses in the green technology sector, but it would be interesting to find out what kind of quantifiable advice he could have provided to VantagePoint CleanTech that would have benefitted their investment approach given that he has never been involved in the running of a business.
Miliband’s politician-come-advisor turn is a backwards version of US Republican hopeful Mitt Romney, who is attempting to convince Americans that a career spent turning round failing businesses at the private equity firm he helped found qualifies him to be president.
But while Romney’s boasts of superior advice-giving credentials may woo the US electorate, Miliband has no such concerns. As long as the five-figure pocket lining engagements roll in, he might be thankful the Opposition leadership gig went to his hapless sibling.