I saw this coming a mile off! Since certain MP’s have been claiming money they had no right to and another MP’s husband got caught with his hands in his pants while watching porn movies at the expense of the tax payer, I’ve been expecting an overhaul of MP’s expenses. Under British law MP’s can claim an allowance for a multitude of things including housing, travel, staff, food and drink, office and IT equipment, pensions and communications (I’m assuming that’s phone bills and net costs). They can claim for all of these in some way as well as having the average MP allowance of £65,000.
As usually happens with a money pot people take more than they’re supposed to. Numerous MP’s have been claiming for things they shouldn’t have. One Minister claimed an allowance for a house he hadn’t lived in for eight years, you can only claim an allowance for a second home when you stay away from your main registered place of residence. One other MP claimed money for staff working for him when he wasn’t even there, the staff member in question worked in Newcastle, miles away from the MP’s main office!
I could go on with examples but I wont. The fact is they are just taking the piss out of the system and taking tax payers money to do it! Which brings me to Prime Minister Brown’s new expenses scheme based on the Brussels-style daily allowance system. He wants to give MP’s £150 for just turning up, £174 for accommodation and £86 for meals on top of their normal wages. The thing is, that on a daily basis these costs work out at £15,000 to £20,000 more than the current system! But I think the PM thinks that because they are not getting perks for paying Council Tax on second homes and buying furnishings etc that the MP’s will dip in to their own earnings? Nope! Aint gonna happen! Also, what’s to stop the MP’s from clocking on, picking up their £150 quid then pissing off to the commons pub or their second jobs? That’s right… nothing!
Of course the leaders of the opposition parties are opposed to this because MP’s can claim more than the current system allows – and that apparently disgusts them. I think it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with looking opposed to the gravy train to win votes. Not just that, in the new scheme Ministers will be forced to declare how much they get paid in their second jobs! Tories would oppose this because they are the ones with the most to hide as regards to second jobs, working on the boards of merchant banks or businesses! That’s the real reason Tory leader David Cameron turned down the new proposal. Lib-Dem leader Nick Cleg opposed it just so someone would pay attention to him and his party, awww bless!
Now, second jobs! Doesn’t it set alarm bells ringing in anyone elses head that Minsters are allowed to have more than one job? Jobs that can conflict with their job as an MP? Members of Parliament are supposed to be elected to represent their constituents, not the numerous special interests of boards they sit on or any other MP’s special interests. The sad fact is they hold special interests because they get paid to from second jobs, they’ll say they don’t but it’s true. Party funding is another influence on any given party’s policy. Unions, Bankers, Private Business, Big business… they all buy their way in, the special interests of the funders are then made priority, thus the electorates will and voice is diluted again. Let’s not forget the back handers some MP’s receive, again they’ll swear they don’t get them but they do, from numerous sources. So that’s why your vote doesn’t count and why Brown isn’t serious about cleaning up the sleaze in Westminster.