Monday, February 11, 2008

Housing MPs

There's a beautifully concise post on the scandal of MPs' housing over at Edland, sparked by the recent revelations about James Purnell, the thieving, lying little shitbag that he is.
Well, first of all I would like to express my total lack of surprise at this "revelation". Every MP who has a constituency outside London does this. They get £22,000 a year each to help them fund a pied-a-terre for those evenings when they have to be in London. Rather disgracefully, many MPs with constituencies very close to London also take advantage of this subsidy. Guido has been chipping away at this particular trough for a good while, and he knows more about it than I do.

In principle, I can see the necessity of MPs having second homes in London. If I was regularly sent away as part of my job I would expect my employer to foot the bill, even if I had known in advance that there might be a lot of travel. If I travelled weekly to the same place, I might even ask my employers to buy a flat for me to use. But would any company pay me the cash and tell me to get on with it in whatever way I fancied? Surely a company flat would be chosen, bought and paid-for by the company. This is the key difference between what "regular" people could expect and what our very special MPs get.

Do go and read the whole thing, as Ed rather pertinently addresses just what reasonable flat would cost an MP £22,000 per year.

However, let us also contemplate your humble Devil's situation: I live on my own in a fairly spacious one-bedroom flat at the top of Brixton Hill. It takes me thirty to forty minutes to get from my sitting room to Westminster and there are plenty of amenities (including a dry cleaner) within five minutes walk.

I rent this flat so I am paying my landlady's mortgage plus a reasonable profit on top: this costs me £10,200 per annum (this includes central heating and water rates). MPs also claim for Council Tax, of course, which (with my discount for lone living) costs about £750 per year. Except, of course, that my lone living discount is only 25%: second homes attract a 50% reduction. So, we'll call it £500 per year for an MP.

So, my total claimable costs would be £10,700. So what the fuck are they spending the other £11,300 on, eh? Either they are fraudulently claiming expenses, or they are renting or buying places which are far more luxurious than they need—let us not forget that their second home allowance alone is only just less than the median wage.

Further, these corrupt bastards use our money in order to buy flats which they then get to keep the profit on. It is high time that we put a stop to this.

Let me suggest a really simple solution: MPs may not pay a mortgage with their expenses. They may only claim for rent and they may only claim for rent on a flat in London (to stop the inevitable troughing bastards who will attempt to use their salary to buy in London whilst claiming rent on their constituency homes).

Anyone object? Other than the corrupt MPs*, that is?


* That is to say, "all of them."

16 comments:

lettersfromatory said...

As if MPs would allow themselves to put up with anything other than splendid luxury at the taxpayers expense! I'm sure they can spend the extra £11,000 on whatever they choose, claim it as expenses, and the taxpayer is none the wiser.

MP's abuse of taxpayers' money just gets worse and worse.

The Great Simpleton said...

"Let me suggest a really simple solution: MPs may not pay a mortgage with their expenses. They may only claim for rent and they may only claim for rent on a flat in London (to stop the inevitable troughing bastards who will attempt to use their salary to buy in London whilst claiming rent on their constituency homes)."

And who do you think they will rent from? Let me make a guess, family. And do you really think they will pay market rent for these places they rent from their wives and children?

The only solution is sate B&B houses or hotels. I'll bet I could book up enough good hotel rooms at less than the £11k you claim it takes to keep your flat. Lets face it, we know when they need these rooms so they could be booked years in advance.

Ed said...

Parliament should buy one of the lovely concrete boxes that they threw up in the 60s for their constituents.

FlipC said...

Similar to Ed's suggestion, perhaps Endemol could be persuaded to create dorms for MPs complete with CCTV, Big Brother style broadcasting, and Geordie voice-over. Perhaps we could even 'vote' to have them evicted :-)

Anonymous said...

Why do you tories not care the viscount who was invloved in cocaine rent boy scandal being fund raiser for the tories.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/politics/threelinewhip/feb/blackandwhiteball.htm Viscount Linley

Mark Wadsworth said...

The James Purnell 'lies to HMRC' story was in the Telegraph today (or was it the Mail?) but I am afraid this is misreporting. As he lived in his London flat for a year or two, the last three years of ownership qualify for only or main residence exemption. SO he's innocent of tax evasion, while still being totally corrupt of course.

Clunking Fist said...

Anon says: "Why do you tories not care the viscount who was invloved in cocaine rent boy scandal being fund raiser for the tories."

I haven't noticed many Tories here, mate.

Shug Niggurath said...

Let's face it, for years and years everyone has known fine well that their MP's are on the take, ALL of them are in one way or another.

It appears to be only know that a floodgate is opening, so will the MSM help shore it back up, or will they keep digging and force these corrupt fucks to declare, explain and justify every single penny they claim for?

Anonymous said...

MSM seem to be about 6 weeks behind bloggers such as DK et al. BBC a year behind.

Ed said...

I haven't noticed many Tories here, mate.

Well my blog post was picked up by Liberal Conspiracy and they had me down as a Tory. Shows what a quality blog that isn't...

Clunking Fist said...

I guess to Liarbores, all non-liarbores look alike: "You're either with us or agin us".
Not that I'm claiming to be a Libertarian, mind: I merely have these urges...

Reactionary Snob said...

Why not build a giant 'halls of residence' style complex for the fuckers?

RS

Ade said...

RS is spot on. The only reason these scum need a London residence is so they can be close to "work" during the week. So - build a 700-room "halls of residence" block, give 'em a room each which is theirs to use as they see fit for the duration of their term.

Build the block near to Westminster, so they only need to walk to work - oh, and ban smoking inside the building, the cunts.

Mike Blessing said...

If they're going to abuse their perks, then those perks should be taken away in totality. FUCK 'EM, one and all, starting with this Purnell clown. Just like the Congress-asswipes here in the States, only our Congress has more peoples' paychecks to skim from than your MPs.

As for the "hall of residence," what's wrong with a military-style barracks building?

On a good note, I found your blog by following a link from the LPUK's site, and linked to you on mine. Just when we in the States were getting set to write off Europe as a lost cause . . .

MJS said...

I have been advocating for years that once elected MP's should live in Council housing on JSA income. (Obviously there would be a well-audited fund for MP related expenses). They would know before hand these were the conditions, and if they didn't like the, they needn't stand! It would give them an insight to what life is really about and may result in democratic government, "of the people, by the people, for the people" - now there's a novle idea!