Socialist Worker

MPs get another pay rise as the expenses keep rolling in

Issue No. 2361

Pig Society graphic

MPs were set to trouser an extra £10,000 of a pay rise on Thursday of this week. 

That will take MPs’ basic pay to £75,000 a year.

In case that’s not enough, a new scam has emerged that allows MPs to claim cash for their kids.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) watchdog has given MPs special dispensation to claim higher expenses to rent bigger properties and to pay for their children’s travel.

At least nine government ministers have registered to benefit.

Some MPs have made more than £10,000 on the scheme. 

Last year the government stopped child benefit for families with a parent with more than £60,000. An MP’s basic wage is £66,000.

A total of 148 MPs, with 300 children between them, have formally registered their “dependants” so they can claim expenses on their accommodation and travel. 

Members of the government including George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Maria Miller, are all registered. 

So are Labour figures including Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper.

MPs have claimed almost £140,000 for their children’s travel since 2010.

MPs to increase the maximum allowance can claim by £2,425 for each child. 


Touring speaker

Commons Speaker John Bercow has run up a £100,000 bill in just three years on a taxpayer-funded tour of Britain and the world.

Details of the huge costs include jetting off to almost 20 countries and a trip to have his portrait painted.

Total travel and accommodation bill comes to more than £96,000, including £16,000 for journeys in a chauffeur-driven car and flights for him and aides costing £63,000.

The bill, revealed by the Daily Mail, comes on top of £9,200 Bercow claimed on expenses in the last three years as Tory MP for Buckingham.

Just after getting the job he took a chauffeur driven trip round the corner from his office to see the body that oversees expenses—at a cost of £84.

lThe publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland spent at least £265,000 on hospitality at Wimbeldon. 

Other banks than RBS joined in HSBC, UBS, Barclays and Santander—and most of their tables were packed. 

More often than not the guests of the 70 corporate tents were too busy swilling champagne to actually watch any tennis. 


No hiding place

The Home Office has decided to use social media to intimidate migrants. 

They posted a picture on Twitter  featuring several immigrants being bundled into the back of a van.

The tweet read,“There will be no hiding place for illegal immigrants with the new #ImmigrationBill”.

Charming.


We were the victims say Murdoch hacks

Rupert Murdoch told staff in a secretly recorded meeting he knew for decades that his journalists were bribing officials.

He met nearly two dozen reporters and executives from The Sun. 

Their dodgy practices included paying police officers and other public officials for information.

On the recording, Murdoch admits he was aware of the practice of bribing public officials.

One Sun journalist tells him, “I’m pretty confident that the working practices that I’ve seen here are ones that I’ve inherited, rather than instigated.”

Murdoch agrees, replying, “We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: that’s been going on a hundred years. You didn’t instigate it.”

He said that Sun journalists were the “victims”. 

“We might have gone too far in protecting ourselves. And you were the victims of it.

“It’s not enough for me to say you’ve got my sympathy. 

“But you do have my total support.”


Bungling baron is unloved by royals

IN high society news the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister bumped into George Osborne at a bash—and did not know who he was.

The Chancellor said, “Hello, you must be Pippa.” Looking bemused, she allegedly replied, “Who are you? And what is your job?”

Pippa, aside from being related to the queen by her sister’s marriage, wrote a book about party planning.

 Osborne’s spokesman insisted the snub claim was “bollocks”. He added, “I’ve checked it out, I don’t know if it was another minister but it wasn’t my man.”


A Royal silver penny

Babies born on the same day as William and Kate’s first child will be sent a silver penny to celebrate the royal arrival.

The coins come in blue or pink pouches.

So as another royal parasite enters the world, you could get a gift to remind you exactly how much the state values your child.


FAULTY FIRM No. 9541

Trade union reform campaign

A right wing lobby group pushing for restrictions on trade unions

  • The group is chaired by Aidan Burley MP. He was caught in a restaurant as friends shouted Nazi slogans
  • The patron of the group is Liam Fox. He was forced to resign as defence secretary over his dodgy links to arms lobbyists

The real scandal of Abu Qatada

Abu Qatada was deported last weekend, to the excitement of right wing tabloids.

Why wasn’t he put on trial in Britain?

One reason is that court cases can end up disclosing embarrassing documents.

A Qatada trial could have exposed how the CIA kidnapped Jamil el-Banna and Bisher al-Rawwere in Gambia in 2002.

They ended up in Guantanamo Bay. MI5 used both to spy on Qatada. 


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 9 Jul 2013, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2361
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