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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 March 2008

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.

Dave Carr

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In The Socialist 19 March 2008:

Global economic crisis

Darling's 'more of the same' budget


Anti-war demonstration

Interest in socialist ideas on anti-war demo


National Union of Teachers Conference

Strike back against pay robbery!

Magic strike at Merlin school

School tries to evict pupils


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for decent youth facilities

Socialist Students


Socialist Party workplace news

Anger and strength in the DWP workplaces

End the blacklist!

Support for Shelter staff

Pay more to get less

One law for them, another law for us

In brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

It's not that councillors can't fight...it's that they won't!

Sack the mayor - not the wardens!

Remote MPs' privileged lifestyle

Salford campaign reprieves women's centre


Post Office closures

No more post office closures!

Following the Essex road


Socialist Party congress 2008

Socialist Party 2008 congress

Building a campaigning, fighting socialist party


International socialist news and analysis

Portugal: Strikes and mass protests against government


 

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