Saturday, 22 May 2010


MPs have again stuck two fingers up to taxpayers, claiming Parliament’s new expenses watchdog is treating them like benefit claimants. I am wondering why they think that they should be treated better than other citizens who are forced to claim benefits because they are ill or can’t find work. Seems that it’s ok for ALL benefit claimants to be assumed to be cheats and thus being treated badly, but MPs mustn't lumped together as expenses cheats, and must be treated better, even if they are.

Anyway our MPs are angry that the new regime requires that, like other people living and working in the country, and indeed working for the government, they are required to have receipts to back their claims, instead of us just taking their word for it. I wonder why we feel disinclined to do that.

There has also been a warning that the expenses watchdog staff will not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour. Isn’t it an indictment on our parliament that a warning of this type has to go out to our lawmakers, because some, including ministers who are now standing for leadership of the Labour party, did bully staff into paying unjustified amounts?

Some MPs say a reduction in second-home allowances could lead to them staying in one-bedroom flats, forcing them to live apart from their children during the week, like many business people already do, and women MPs have protested that a ban on taking taxis before 11pm could force them to use public transport to get home at night. Men, presumably, have a magic wand that they wave to avoid this.

Labour MP David Winnick (right) said that it was disgraceful that Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is making members fund essential spending up front, as I have always been expected to do, despite never having had a salary of £65,000, and that staffing budgets have effectively been cut. Well, everyone is having to make cuts and work a bit harder Winnick; why would that not include you?

"The scandal that shamed parliament should never be repeated,” he said. “But this is another type of scandal.” No it’s not, you nelly. It’s what everyone is going through, and you brought it on yourselves in any case.

The rules come into force for this new Parliamentary session. The watchdog will pay salaries at the end of the month and the first expenses from June.

One of the most important changes is that MPs cannot any longer buy homes, claim back the mortgage interest, make improvements at our expense, and pocket vast profits when the properties are sold. Instead they can claim up to £1,450 a month in rent.

It seems to me that they learned almost nothing from last year. Perhaps the fact that so few of them have been punished in any real way has something to do with this. The older ones have retired, some having to pay back expenses overcharged, some not having to pay them back at all. Only four hapless and expendable Labour MPs and one Tory Peer have appeared in court over the cheating. Many of them have been returned to their seats by their grateful voters, including an MP who is about to appear in court charged with expenses fraud.

The IPSA have said rules were intended to restore public confidence in the MPs’ expenses system, but it would consider changes. It apparently is listening to feedback from MPs and the public on the rules.

So, if anyone from the IPSA is reading this blog, this taxpayer would like to say that he doesn’t want vindictiveness but he expects the new authority to safeguard the public’s money. Everyone is having to make do with less; everyone is working harder. MPs must not be any different from anyone else. Gone should be the days of their assuming some sort of superiority over the common herd.


  1. Well it's a new dawn for them all with another 5 years at the trough. It seems that the leadership debates re-energized politics and the Clegg bounce-ette stopped there being a cull of the useless in favour of Independents.

  2. Wonder what has happened with Camerons proposed culling of Westminster MPs has Cleggy vetoed it.
    One things is for sure any Electoral reform will lead to more elected representatives and not less.

  3. Yes, now all that nonsense of the electorate is behind them they can get back to the real business of stuffing it to us... and for 5 guaranteed years this time.

  4. I heard they want to reduce the number of spongers, erm sorry, I meant MPs, or may be I just meant spongers, by 100.

    But that included making all constituencies the same size... so the poor guy in the Western Isles can now be expected to cover the whole of the West Coast down to just north of Glasgow.

    One of the considerations has to be the geography of the constituency. The Western Isles may only have a small constituency, number wise, but if you have to have your surgeries on all the islands and there's only one boat every 3 days, you are a bit limited as to the number of people you can see.

    Anyway, as far as I'm concerned 100 MPs in total would be 50 too many!

  5. Get rid of 100 MPs create 100 Lords: makes sense!

  6. You guys just cant leave it alone! Why pick the one Labour MP caught up in all this? What about everyone else? As usual your hidden anti-Labour agenda shines through.

    That said, even I cant stand these pigs - remind of of animal farm they do! But which of the are Napoleon? Salmond I bet!!

    Scoff and Toff is what you offer,


  7. Peter that is preposterous, if you look at the two posts prior to this one you will see that they both criticise the Conservative/Liberal alliance.

  8. Peter... nothing hidden about any agenda in this blog.

    If a Tory trougher had been the one making all the song and dance about this I'd have been happy to slam him too.. and yes, if someone from the SNP was making a fuss about it, he'd have got a boot in the backside too.

    But as you admit these people are pigs, and that goes for the Earl that wanted his moat cleared out, and the squire that wanted us to pay for manure, or his duck house, or his forestry work, every bit as much as the inappropriately named Mr Devine and his rewiring job.

    I believe it is wrong however, that there are only 5 people up for court. Mrs Udin for example should be there, as should all the others Tory and Labour, hereditary and appointed, who have been abusing the House of Lords' incredibly generous housing benefit scheme.

    If it were Joe Soap doing it for a council house at the back of a housing estate, they'd be in the pokey.