UK Liberty

Gravy Train

Posted in accountability, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on March 16, 2008

The Telegraph:

MPs are demanding large pay rises to compensate for having their much-criticised system of perks and allowances scrapped, it emerged last night.

Let’s get this straight – because they have to now justify expenses of over £25 (previously they only had to justify £250 and above), they want a pay rise of £40,000!

Nice work if you can get it.

A day after the publication of the “John Lewis” list detailing the generous entitlements politicians can claim to furnish second homes, many are calling for a salary increase of as much as £40,000.

The list, used to rule on expenses claims based on prices at John Lewis, includes £100 coffee makers and £750 plasma televisions.

And they need coffee makers and plasma televisions because of work-related reasons, do they?

It was released at the same time as review is being undertaken of MPs’ expenses in the wake of the Derek Conway affair. He was censured for paying tens of thousands of pounds to his sons despite no evidence of them doing any work.

The Daily Telegraph understands that a number of MPs have approached the whips offices of all parties to suggest the expenses system be scrapped and their salaries increased to as much as £100,000 – a pay rise of nearly £40,000 – to allow them to bear the costs themselves of running a second home.

Other MPs are proposing a £160-a-day allowance to replace the £23,000 a year they can claim to run a second home. Martin Salter, the Labour member for Reading West,

It would be odd if Martin Salter had a second home, given that it takes about 45 mins to get from Reading to Westminster. I am sure he hasn’t.

said: “I think there is a case for MPs actually being paid more and then having to fund their London allowance out of their own income.

“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a chief executive who’s on less than £100,000. We’re certainly [paid] less than head teachers and many deputy head teachers.”

Tell you what, prove you are worth it.  Now, Martin Salter’s record seems ok, in terms of attendance and responding to letters.  But a lot of them aren’t so good.

At the EU Summit in Brussels, Gordon Brown agreed for the need to end the secrecy around MPs’ perks and allowances, saying: “I welcome all efforts to increase transparency in this area.

“The more open, the more transparent and the more we provide information to the public about how public money is spent the better it is for all of us.”

Never a truer word said!  I take it Gordon will persuade his colleagues to release the OGC Gateway Reviews?


2 Responses

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  1. Jeff said, on March 19, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Salter does not have a Westminster pad, having very publically said he goes home every night so, including the money in his pay would be a massive pay increase without any extra cost.

  2. ukliberty said, on March 19, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Thanks Jeff.

    But I’m sure there will be the suggestion that some politicians shouldn’t be earning more than others, won’t there?

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