Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/780/17435
MPs still have their snouts in the trough
The results are in! MPs' expenses for last year have been published, and it's time for the Socialist to dish out the honours.
The Bisto Award for Gravy Guzzling goes to Ian Paisley Jr, scrounger for North Antrim, who pocketed over a hundred grand.
No stranger to success, 2008 saw the Democratic Unionist draw three state salaries at once. Clearly underworked as an assembly member and junior minister, Paisley did "research" on his dad's parliamentary payroll too.
Congratulations also to another Ian, who takes home the Lunn Poly Jet-Set Shield for spending nearly £12k getting into work.
Conservative Ian Halfon, black hole for Harlow, is leagues behind top travel claimant, Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael.
But with Westminster only 20 miles away, a standard-class season ticket comes in at £4,800. That's less than half, Halfon.
One MP made no claim at all. We should hope so too given his net worth of £200 million. Tory Zac Goldsmith is keen to trumpet the fraction of his dad's stock market swag he throws at green charities. Very charitably, he keeps his capital in an offshore tax haven.
For many of his colleagues, charity begins at home.
Figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) reveal that around a quarter of MPs employ their own family as 'office staff'.
An eye-watering £9 million expenses increase is mostly down to crafty capitalist politicians hiding behind staff.
All the main parties have members' slathering spouses and kids with £25 to £50 grand. Many are already super-rich. And the lot of them seem set on voting the rest of us into penury.
It's all approved by IPSA, of course. Set up in response to the 2009 expenses scandal, the authority has proven nothing more than a gravy-stained rubber stamp.
What we need are workers' representatives on a worker's wage.
And we know it can be done, because we've done it before. Terry Fields, Dave Nellist and Pat Wall were Marxist Labour MPs and supporters of the Militant, forerunner of the Socialist.
Each took no more than the salary of a skilled worker in his constituency. The rest went towards funding the fightback. And they never once voted for cuts, war or privatisation.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stands in this tradition. Our candidates make the same pledge.
If ordinary people can't trust the main parties, Labour included, we need to do it for ourselves.
So will you stand for TUSC and help us spoil their party?
In The Socialist 18 September 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party comments and reviews