Monday, May 11, 2009

The Monday Morning Blog: how many Tory MPs does it take to change 25 light bulbs?

To which the answer is none. They get someone in to do it for them and then charge it to the taxpayer.

And talking of tax, all those Labour demands that there should be a clampdown on tax avoidance by the rich seem rather hollow now. Leather clad Hilary Blears, dressed for the part of Meatloaf's Eddie in the Rocky Horror Picture Show yesterday may have oozed sympathy for the voters who :"hate" all this, but her posturing simply made matters worse. She made a profit on the sale of her London flat of £45,000, almost twice the average annual wage, and then paid no tax on it, having previously soaked the taxpayer for the cost of the place. I wonder what her struggling constituents made of that.

So, for good measure, here are my proposals for reforming the 2nd homes allowance:

1)No entitlement for London MPs.

2)The constituency home (or within reasonable distance of the constituency) should be regarded as the main home, so the London home is all that is accepted for the allowance.

3)Reduce the level of allowance from the current level of £24,000.

4)Taper the amount an MP can receive. The costs of owning a second home in London go down over time (I can speak from experience) so once the start up costs are met, there is no justification for the continued high payments.

5)No entitlement to 2nd homes allowance for anyone with grace and favour accommodation.

And finally:

6)No entitlement to claim for furniture and electricals. After all, what is to stop them leaching back to the main home? MPs can easily afford to furnish 2 homes on what they earn.
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Andrea Cave said...

I have an even better proposal.

HM Government should purchase a hotel with enough rooms to accommodate all MP's when they're at London.

The savings the government (sorry, the taxpayers) would make in MP's expenses would quickly cover the cost of the hotel and solve this once and for all.

Jock Coats said...

Along Andrea's line but not a hotel. When they have liberated all the people who should not be in prison for the same crimes they have been committing for years there will be sufficient space in the system to "repurpose" Wandsworth prison from Home Office to parliamentary estate. They can all live there! Presumably Black Rod can be the warder.

As to Willetts and his light bulbs, it is clear he did not use his local authorioty's direct labour organization's ervices - that would have been £100 *per bulb*!

How many English Benedictines does it take to change a lightbulb?

Two, one to mix the coccktails while the other telephones the electrician.