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MP’s Wages, Expenses, Special Interests And Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count

Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on April 23, 2009

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.


6 Responses to “MP’s Wages, Expenses, Special Interests And Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count”

  1. The Divine Mrs M said

    Hiya PhilOk? update on Georgie…he didn\’t read out my e-mail…. I\’m really disappointed about that :(One thing i remember him saying in his show is that we ALL should vote regardless, because if we don\’t then we are stuck with a government that OTHER people have voted for… I\’m not sure what the answer to THAT logic is? :s mags xhttp://masloan.spaces.live.com/

  2. The Divine Mrs M said

    Hi PhilMy favourite MP, George Galloway, does a radio show on Talksport, I dunno if youve ever listened to him? and on more than one occasion Ive heard him moot the idea of a disused hotel or a high rise block of appartments being purchased in London and made over, to house all MP\’s while they reside in the capital.I sent him an e-mail about this while he was on air last night, but due to circumstances, I wasn\’t able to listen to the end of his show, so I\’m not sure yet if he read my letter out. but if I find out I will let you know!I hope that you are feeling much better now. Ive found in the past that if I suffer a UC attack it takes me a full 3 weeks (sometime a month) to recover.Ive had UC for about 10 years. I was first diagnosed 13 years ago with "nervous" colitus, and honestly phil, as far as I\’m concerned that was the worst experience ever. Although UC is obviously distressing with pain and discomfort, not to mention the blood loss. Have you ever heard of a drug called "Merbentyl" I was given that tablet for the Nervous Colitus and it really calmed it down. But Ive never had it again on account of me not being back at the doc\’s…. (i can hear you screaming "what about jade goody???") but I do control my UC by diet, and ive learned over the years what i can\’t eat, but ive got to read packet labels dilligently, but there are natural foods i can\’t eat either, nuts being a prime example.I had a feeling that you were going to do a blog on MP\’s expenses, and you didn\’t disappoint! ;DI hope that you have a GREAT week kidder!mags xhttp://masloan.spaces.live.com/

  3. The G Man said

    Hello Mr E,Thanks for passing by and leaving your usual "detailed" input, as ever, always appreciated.I agree with you, especially about the safety net, I\’ll be putting some thoughts down concerning this in my Political Blogs at some point.Now, speaking of political…It\’s just the old boys network in \’full swing\’ conflicts of interest, double standards, having a laugh at the publics expense…I know that, legally they are allowed to claim certain things, but just because it\’s legal, doesn\’t mean that it\’s right…If they want the public to have more trust and confidence in them, they need to practice what they preach and create the transparency necessary to create and promote that trust.An MP should be an MP and nothing else, they should be paid a set wage and told to the manage their finances like the other "hard working families" of Britain that they keep going on about…If they want to have an expense account and other perks and benefits they should quit politics and run their own businesses.Great Blog mate…Have a great weekend.

  4. Robin said

    First you have to recognise is that in the gray world of expense\’s the members of parliament have done nothing wrong. sure there is no question that they have exploited the rules to the full. I will argue with anyone who have an expense account that they would do the same. Should we blame the MP\’s or does the blame lay with those who sanction the expense claims.At first glance the proposal put forward by Brown may not add up but consider this PM do not attend the common every day, indeed the summer recess lasts 80 days alone. As an interim measure it was a start, it was never seen as an alternative in the long term.The point about second jobs I have to disagree MP\’s represent ALL constituents that includes businesses. I see no wrong in company boards having MP\’s on board. It makes good business sense keeping abreast of political decisions that may effect there business, These have to be declared in members business and they have to declare any interest during certain debates and they can be excluded from them.Your vote does count and should be made compulsory to opt out in my opinion gives people no right to criticise the government of the day and that apply\’s to local government as well.

  5. Pete said

    Hey,The whole system reeks of gentlemens club mentality where they look after themselves and answerable to no-one – damn that pesky freedom of information act eh?Anyone who has ever had any form of expenses made payable to them has fiddled it. Adding a couple of miles on here and there or asking the waiter for a handwritten receipt for a few extra quid is common place but these boys do look after themselves don\’t they?Ultimately we need to go back to basics. Being an MP is a civil servant position after all and you are there to serve your constiutancy and the tax payer. The pay should reflect a senior administrative post and expenses should be paid accordingly for appropriate travel, accomadation and expenses incurred whilst carrying out your job but never should they receive money to have a second home, nor should they be able to choose their own staff, especially family members and friends – they should net be allowed to have any other business interests or jobs whilst in office either.And annually, an elected commitee of their constituancy should be permitted to review the expenditure of the MP and the MP should be answerable to any question raised by the expenditure – if the answers are not satisfactory, a vote of no confidence should lead to a by-election.Funnily enough, i rather doubt it would happen – but i certainly don\’t think Brown has done quite enough to pacify those angered by MP expenditure.The Pirate Bay prosecutions are a bit of a nonsense, more so because they have appealed and the whole matter will be wrapped in legal argument for several years to come. Its the industry that is a problem by not embracing it and using it for their own ends. Most people believe that piracy would be eliminated over night if films were freely available for a minimal cost on the internet. Films showing at the cinema available to download for say £2. Anyone can get hold of them, easy to download and turn into a DVD, so no real market for people who make wholesale numbers of DVD\’s and sell them around bars and pubs. Music piracy is not so much of a problem now because the industry has woken up and most albums by all the top artists are available on download at the fraction of the cost of a CD, funnily enough peopel actually are happy to pay something for music and films – but as you rightly say, not be ripped off!The film industry think they lose billions from piracy but thats not actually true. I have down loaded a sizeable amount of films over the last few years but the truth is I would never have bought them all, maybe a quarter at best and I still by DVD\’s and go to the cinema……there is even a rumour that the industry actually puts these films on the net intentionally to raise interest. The new x-men film has been on the web for a few weeks – it is what they call a \’work print\’ meaning it has not been finished yet, some effects visual and audio, is missing. But some will argue that that has been intentionally put on the web to gauge reaction and critisism so any changes can be made before final release. I remember the last batman film had a \’work print\’ on the web many weeks before cinematic release. Interesting twist eh?Have a good weekend and love to youa dnfamilypete

  6. ✿Livvy said

    There are loopholes in the tax systems that people can take advantage of these days, not to mention public officials. Well, though there are no such thing as "the perfect tax/accounting system", the government should come up with rules and regulations that maximze the transparency of the accounts and expenses of these MPs, and have independent auditors review their books on a regular basis. In a word, preventative measures must be taken to avoid improper use of allowance. PS: A silly question, what does MP stand for :P?

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