Tory cabinet minister Francis Maude is leading the charge against public sector workers. He says they get good wages, lots of holidays and “gold‑plated” pensions.
But Maude’s the real money-grabber. His annual salary is £134,565. On top of that he can claim “expenses” for things that you and me simply pay for, such as food and travel.
His personal wealth is estimated to be around £3 million. But if you looked at his expenses claims, you’d think he was poor.
Maude claimed 22 pence for a glue stick in 2007, along with 12 pence for a ruler, 14 pence for a pencil sharpener and 32 pence for some scissors. In 2008-9, Maude got £155,797, on top of his salary, in expenses.
He got into trouble after allegedly buying a London flat, close to a house he already owned, before claiming expenses on the flat and renting out the house. He has grabbed thousands of pounds for a few hours’ “work” attending meetings and reading emails as part of his business roles.
Maude can retire at 60 on a pension of at least £50,000 a year—with increases related to inflation.
His register of members’ interests shows that some of his business roles have netted him more than £615 an hour.
And it’s a bit rich for Maude to blather on about teachers’ holidays. The House of Commons will close for no less than six “recesses” this year—around 21 weeks altogether.
Not that Maude has to show up there to work even when it is sitting, of course.
As the House of Commons has confirmed to Socialist Worker, MPs don’t have set holidays so, “It is up to them as to how and when they take leave.”