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David Cameron proposes a ministerial pay freeze throughout the next Parliament (and no more subsidised food and drink in Parliament)

Picture 7David Cameron ha just given a speech on cutting the cost of politics, which repeated a number of announcements he has made previously about delivering "more for less" such as:

  • each and every quango having to justify its existence
  • every item of government spending over £25,000 to be published online
  • all public sector salaries over £150,000 to be published online
  • opposing new MPs getting a final salary pension scheme
  • getting rid of the £10,000 yearly ‘Communications Allowance’ that every MP gets
  • abolishing Regional Assemblies
  • scrapping the Standards Board for England
  • reducing the number of MPs by 10%

However, there were several significant announcements which I believe are new proposals:

  • Ministerial salaries will be cut by an immediate five percent, but on top of that, those salaries will be frozen for the lifetime of the next Parliament - "That means a further pay cut when inflation is taken into account and a saving of over a quarter of a million pounds a year for the taxpayer".
  • Taxpayers’ cash will no longer subsidise politicians' food and drink, with the cost of food and drink in Parliament "being increased to match the prices normal people pay in cafes, restaurants and bars around the country". That will, he said, save £5.5 million.
  • The budget for official government cars will be cut by a third. He said: "There are times when having a car to hand which gets a minister to a certain place on time is absolutely vital to our democratic process – for example, to make a vote in the House of Commons, or to meet a foreign dignitary or open a school. But there is no need for 171 of these cars to be on hand for every government minister, whip – and indeed, myself."
  • Public sector bodies will be stopped from hiring consultants to lobby politicians, to save £10 million a year.
  • He also demanded that the Electoral Commission must be run more efficiently, saying it had overreached its role "with advertising campaigns and wasteful marketing initiatives" and that under the proposed quango review, "we will identify all the unnecessary functions it has assumed and see what savings we can make for the taxpayer".
  • A Conservative Government would also demand that the Parliamentary authorities must cut costs by ten per cent, banking the taxpayer £50 million.
Jonathan Isaby


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