Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Second mortgages and family on the payroll

The recently leaked Kelly proposals on 2nd mortgages and family members on the payroll is likely to be the latest cat amongst the MP expenses pigeons. Events have moved on since earlier this year when we all seemed to be putting forward proposals on how to tackle the crisis. My idea was to taper the support MPs get if they buy a 2nd home as the cost of mortgages in real terms goes down the further you are into it relative to a person's income. Meanwhile, they should get nothing for furniture etc. They are after all well paid.

Events have moved on and Kelly's new proposals must be regarded positively. I appreciate the plan to stop MPs employing spouses or other family members will cause some problems. And it can sometimes be that MPs and their spouses first met in their political roles with spouses therefore sometimes being an ideal candidate to work for an MP. However, some of these people are paid massively more than what the equivalent jobs elsewhere get. Sums of well in excess of £40k for a secretarial role are way beyond what many more important and demanding jobs would expect to fetch.

So whilst I recognise that many family members working for MPs do a great job, the minority of abusers have forced an "enough is enough" response.
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