Sunday, 29 March 2009

Voluntary MPs

So today's blogosphere headlines are mostly about how our Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been claiming porno movies on her expenses. Hilarious stuff, how can she keep her job with the shitstorm about claiming second homes allowance on her constituency home when she spends three days a week in her sister's spare room as a 'main home'.

So Devil's Kitchen has done the sums and stuff
Let us just look at this objectively. Jacqui Smith is a minister, and so pulling in a salary of about £120,000 £141,866; she is also paying her husband a further £40,000: this is a grand total of £160,000 £181,000 in salaries alone.

On top of that, Jacqui Smith claimed £152,683 in expenses last year; minus her husband's £40,000, that is an extra £113,000. Some £24,000 a year, as we know, goes to pay the mortgage on her Redditch "second home" (even though it has been established that she spends most of her time there, and not in her sister's flat).

It all adds up to the fact she's getting paid several times the UK median wage and she has everything the rest of us have to pay for out of our own wages paid for in expenses.

I'm quite tempted to support yon article in The Times which calls for MPs not to receive any pay at all.
An MP is not employed. Therefore he should not have a wage. His expenses are not an issue. The office, the secretary or the PA can be provided by the Civil Service. The question is how, without employment, MPs should live. In an ideal world, they would live frugally, as Plato said the guardians should in his Utopian Republic. In the real world, an MP's temporary mandate might be seen as National Service.

On the other hand EU Referendum suggests that MPs should be paid as much as they want, if only they did their jobs properly.
If MPs performed their tasks anything like adequately, therefore, they could save us billions, in addition to safeguarding our rights and freedom. If they could put up a balance sheet to that effect, then they could easily justify their own costs, and who could possibly disagree with them being well rewarded.

Maybe its not a contradiction, if MPs did a good job than aye, but since they don't then no, we should cut their pay and make it performance related.

But how would you decide their performance levels? Who would decide? The people by referendum? The Lords, The Queen, the blogosphere? The parties in their manifestos?

Hmm, I wonder which films they were.

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