Socialist Worker

Pigs have got their snouts in the trough - and so have MPs

Issue No. 2516

Top cops or politicians - we cant quite tell

Top cops or politicians - we can't quite tell (Pic: Flickr/Lawrence)

Chief constables and senior officers are grabbing tens of thousands of pounds in expenses—on top of huge salaries.

Cops claim them to pay for things such as lunches and household bills. The Daily Mail said chief constables “routinely” claim for costs when moving house.

Among the more bizarre findings were that head of Police Scotland Phil Gormley lives “for free in an apartment in a castle”.

Meanwhile Essex chief constable Stephen Kavanagh claims nearly £7,000 a year for upkeep of his £1 million mansion.

His pay package is over £200,000—yet he claimed £4.50 for Tube tickets.

For Alan Pughsley of Kent police, one payout happily led to another.

Pughsley got a £6,801 “housing allowance” in 2014/15 to go towards his £1 million home. Then he got a £4,508 “compensatory grant”—to cover the extra tax he had to pay after receiving the housing allowance.

And some top cops are working the equivalent of a four-day week.

A police force has apologised after posting a photograph of two men dressed in Nazi uniforms on its official Twitter page.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) removed the tweet from their traffic feed, which showed the men wearing SS uniforms and standing next to a German military Kubelwagen.

Why they did it at all is unclear.

Our subsidies help out quaffing MPs

We subsidised food and drink for MPs, peers and parliament staff by £3.7 million last year, according to new figures.

It must be on account of their outrageously low salaries and expense allowances.

The subsidies mean MPs and Lords can get a lasagne for £2.90 or a cup of tea for 60p.

Our subsidy for the House of Commons alone was £2.5 million in 2015/16—up from £2.4 million the year before.

A spokes-person helpfully explained, “A subsidy is unavoidable”.

Our subsidies gave our glorious leaders discounts on drink in the past two years.

But the cheapskates still went for the less pricey options.

Parliament polished off 19,416 bottles of House Sauvignon and 12,251 bottles of House Merlot.

That’s on top of 34,488 pints of guest ale, 211 litres of Gordon’s gin and 67.9 litres of Famous Grouse whisky.

Cam’s housing scam bags him yet more cash

Many workers will have suffered the stress of unexpectedly losing their job. But most won’t have the help that David Cameron has.

Cameron left Downing Street after losing the European Union referendum vote in June.

Since then he’s saved nearly 40,000 living rent-free in a house provided by Tory activist and businessman Dominic Johnson.

Before that he stayed in a seven-bedroom mansion—again free of charge—provided by PR guru Sir Alan Parker.

Cameron owns two houses.

MSPs who studied at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Dundee make up a majority of the Scottish parliament. They account for 90 percent of cabinet members and 70 percent of all ministers.

Glasgow was attended by one quarter of MSPs, half of all ministers In contrast Oxbridge accounted for 26 percent of all Westminister MPs.

Ban everything, say councils

Since 2014 councils can ban anything they deem to have a “detrimental effect” using a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

There is an on the spot £100 fine or a court appearance and a £1,000 penalty for breaking them.

Ferndown, East Dorset banned cycling, skateboarding, model aircraft, and “annoyingly” flying kites.

Lancaster banned anything that causes “annoyance”. Kettering slapped a curfew on under 18s, who must now be home by 11pm.

The London Borough of Hillingdon banned gatherings of two or more people unless they’re waiting for the bus.

Fat cats of the week

No. 74 - Banks

These institutions of greedy fat cats that helped spark the financial crisis.

The Bank of England cut interest rates last week. But two thirds of banks initially refused to say they would pass on the cut to their customers.

Many backed down under pressure, except Lloyds Banking Group.

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