Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/525/3902
Remote MPs' privileged lifestyle
WHILE LOW-PAID civil servants have to strike against a 0% 'pay rise' this year, MPs can claim up to £22,000 for kitting out their homes with luxury items.
Not content with 'earning' £67,000 a year, a backbench MP also claims, on average, £135,000 in allowances. They can claim £10,000 on a new kitchen, £6,000 for a bathroom and even £300 for a free-standing mirror - perhaps to reflect on their privileged lifestyle!
These latest revelations - coming on top of the recent exposť of MPs like Tory Derek Conway who claimed salaries for his two sons and a family friend, even though they did little or no work - is making an angry public even more outraged.
Socialists believe that being an MP should be an opportunity to represent people and not to feather their own nests. From 1983 to 1992 Dave Nellist, now leader of Coventry council's Socialist Party group, was a Labour MP.
He and two other MPs supporting Militant (the Socialist Party's predecessor) stood for parliament as a 'workers' MP on a worker's wage', receiving the average wage of the working-class people they represented and donating the rest to workers' campaigns and working-class appeals. All expenses were legitimate, reasonable and accountable to their constituents.
That meant these MPs were not insulated from the lives and hardships of other working-class families. Other MPs, in contrast, because they benefit financially from their position, are remote from their constituents' needs and problems.
In The Socialist 19 March 2008:
National Union of Teachers Conference
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Post Office closures
Socialist Party congress 2008
International socialist news and analysis