German car maker Volkswagen, currently embroiled in a bribery and corruption scandal, said Friday that it was suspending the employment contracts of two members of the Lower Saxony regional state parliament. Ingolf Viereck and Hans-Hermann Wendhausen, both members of the Social Democrat SPD party in the regional state parliament in Hanover, had asked Europe's biggest car maker to put their employment contracts on ice, VW said in a statement.
"In doing so, we want to help bring some objectivity into the public debate and avert damage to the company," Viereck and Wendhausen said in a statement. For its part, VW said it "welcomed" the MPs' decision. Viereck and Wendhausen were among a number of politicians that have been on VW's payrolls for many years, giving them substantial wage packets on top of their pay as MPs. The practice sparked a fierce public debate in Germany at the
beginning of the year amid claims that the politicians received the hefty monthly pay-outs without actually doing any work for the car maker and other companies.