Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/617/9057
In it for the money
FIVE THOUSAND pounds seems to be the favourite figure of Stephen Byers, who for the past five years has commanded this fee for regular speaking appearances and newspaper articles. This is in addition to his £64,766 MP's salary.
The former cabinet minister has claimed more than £125,000 in second home expenses for a London flat owned outright by his partner, where he lived rent-free.
Geoff Hoon as a government minister lived in a Ministry of Defence flat while letting out a London property and claiming over £70,000 expenses for his constituency house.
During his tenure as defence secretary in charge of the war in Iraq, Hoon had one house absolutely free, a second property covered by MPs' expenses, and a third one which had initially been funded by expenses, then paid for by renting it out.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Patricia Hewitt's parliamentary expenses claims included £920 in legal fees when she moved out of a flat in her constituency before staying in hotels and then renting another flat in Leicester.
She also claimed for furniture, including £194 for blinds delivered to her London home.
Nice and sleazy
According to The Times, eight former government ministers have made up to £370,000 in outside work of various kinds since announcing they would be stepping down as MPs. They include John Prescott, John Reid, John Hutton, Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt...
... And a BBC investigation has revealed that over 20 MPs have broken parliamentary rules in relation to registering and declaring overseas trips paid for by foreign governments.
In The Socialist 24 March 2010:
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news