26 October 2006

MPs Costs Out-strip Inflation

The cost of our MPs has massively out-stripped inflation.

MPs claimed £86.7m in expenses and allowances last year which is 7.3% higher than the previous 12 months. I find the £87,276 that can be claimed for salaries for researchers, secretaries and other staff excessive. I suggest this is reduced significantly and then capped year on year for productivity gains in a similar way to government grants to local authorities.

The £20,000 that can be claimed by MPs with constituencies outside of London for staying in London is ridiculous, too. A single person should be able to arrange annual accomodation in the capital for a fraction of that. Clearly not enough is being done to rein in costs. Any more ideas?


John East said...

How about appealing to their greed.

Cap the expenses at £100m per year and tell the self serving bastards to reduce the number of MP's to the minimum we need to run the country.

In no time at all, we'll have half the number of free loading spongers we have today. £100m will have been money well spent.

Buster George said...

Do away with the travel expenses, hold parliament via web cam and keep the scrounging bastards to actualy work in their constituencies.

After all if they want to bring in Evoting this idea should be a doddle.

Oh and stop MP's voting on MP's salaries it should be done by an independent body.

Praguetory said...

Buster, that's a brilliant idea. Within years we could turn the Houses Of Parliament into a museum. I hope you don't mind if I nick your idea and do a big post on it at some point in the future. I'll give you the credit.

This isn't party political (OK maybe a little) but I have been pondering of late the way the system is unfairly biased against seats remote from London. Even good MPs have less time for constituency work if their seat is half a day's travel from Westminster.

Anonymous said...

We should be cutting the number of MP's anyway, and ensure that power is handed back to Parliament, as at present they are largely vote fodder, and discussing issues that most County Councils could deal with. Lets not forget that there has been no debate on the minor subject of Iraq by Parliament for two years.

CityUnslicker said...

Rather than allow MP's to hire their own researchers and coiterie of hangers-on for the constiuency offices(this is the main amount of expenses I am sure), we could have a central pool of resource.

This would no doubt ensure some bright grads to help. It would stop the wives and mistresses being given £000's for doing nothing.

The personal expenses costs could be reduced to travel & subsistence in the main.

My guess is this would reduce the cost by 25% and improve the effieciency of all the MP's.

I agree with all the points above too, we need less of them and more e-voting/reform of the current system.

Ellee said...

Now which little piggie went to marke,t and which one stayed at home - or several homes - and charged the taxpayer for it.

Buster George said...

I don't know wich piggy went to market, but a lot of them seemed to be taking the wee wee all the way to the bank

Anonymous said...

Hummm interesting view. MPs are over claiming on expenses so punish the loyal and hard working staff by reducing the amount of money available for their pay!

I think that reducing the number of MPs would be a much more realistic approach.