While the rest of us see our savings diminish, our salaries static, our houses losing value, our pensions disappearing and prices rising at the fastest rate for 12 years, it's probably not comforting to know that a fund that John Major thought to set up for himself, and other retired prime ministers, is handing out vast sums to people who have absolutely no need whatsoever for the money.
Major clearly thought that, although he was a bit of a disaster as a prime minister, he should be entitled to more than just his pension, the royalties from books he wrote, the fees for speaking engagements and radio and television appearances, and so he set up the Public Duties Fund, after only one year in office, to provide money for ex-prime ministers for answering letters and attending public functions. So it's easy to see where his priorities were.
Goodness, I answer letters and attend functions for no fee whatsoever, but of course I accept that prime ministers may get a few more of both to do that I do. (Mind you, I would have thought that it was an honour to be asked to come for dinner at the palace when a foreign big noise was in London. But no, they need payment.) Anyway, with that in mind you would have assumed that it would be a relatively small amount, but you would be wrong in that assumption.
No: it's a lot. Over £1.7 million in 5 years.
Indeed Mrs Thatcher, who for the last five years has attended very few functions apart from Liam Fox's birthday party, and presumably answered very few letters due to her poor state of physical and mental health, has claimed, in that period, no less than £535,000.
Over half a million going to an incredibly rich old woman for doing virtually nothing. Isn't it the Tories who complain that Winter Heating Allowance shouldn't be going to people who don't need it. And that's only £750 over 5 years. We're all in it together, except some.
Why does she get it anyway? Major introduced it in 1991. She was on the back benches by that time. On the rare occasion that the lower orders get some sort of boon, it is never backdated. But for that lot it is. As Cilla would say "Surprise, Surprise". But it does show that if you make the rules, you can benefit nicely from them.
Major himself over the last five years has claimed £490,000. Nice work if you can get it.
Of course, you might know it, the nasty money grubbing war monger on the right here (ironically), who must have difficulty remembering how many jobs and incomes he has, has put in claims for £273,000 in the four years since he stood down.
Don't they make you sick?