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Clearly the system of expenses and allowances has to be reviewed. MPs' should be subject to the same levels of HMRC scrutiny and regulation with regard their expenses and allowances as other people.
Did McNulty make payments to his parents? Have they declared it for tax purposes?
Cameron could, and should, take lessons from Daniel Hannan in how to oppose! He did have the advantage of 3, uninterrupted, minutes; but even so, a masterly performance. (as was Farage's)
Why don't Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition actually oppose with any vigour or passion? They are all so supine.

Daniel Hannan must be found a place in the 2010 intake on that showing, and for his sheer vigour over the last couple of years.
If we can find safe seats for ex Labour weather vanes, we should be A listing Mr Hannan too.

Have the Woking and Skipton associations got his CV ?

Easy Solution!

1)cut salaries by 10%

2)end culture of 2nd jobs

3)Rent a block of ex council flats in the name of Westminster to house MPs. (if they don't like it they can use their own money for something better)

4)Reduce the number of MPs by 200 (nobody will notice!)

Job Done!!!!!!!!!

4)Reduce the number of MPs by 200 (nobody will notice!)

To be fair to many MP their constituency work is quite a burden, if we reduced to 200 it would end the constituency MP.

3)Rent a block of ex council flats in the name of Westminster to house MPs. (if they don't like it they can use their own money for something better)

Brilliant is Tower hamlets still standing?

2)end culture of 2nd jobs

I absolutely agree the days of the part time politician are over of should be.

1)cut salaries by 10%

Better still give then a 7.5% rise but kill off all of the expense accounts. They can thank the likes of J.S. and her Wan*ing Husband for the change.

Properties in London, of which I know there are some, bought solely with allowances could, if it were possible to administer possibly revert to the government for the use of new members for remote constituencies upon retirement and not carried away by the retiring member as a personal asset.
But more seriously having just filled in the survey and been asked, "are we on the right track"? I had to answer "I dont know". What track are we on? neither Cameron or Osbourne are saying. Policies Mr Cameron. Lead, it's what you were elected to do or step aside and give someone who can the opportunity.

MPs should be sponsored by any individual or group (business,unions etc) who agrees with their policies and not through the taxation system. This way no one is forced to support ideas beliefs and ideologies they are opposed to.There should be no limit whatsoever on the amount individuals or organisations choose to give to Mps as that would be a gross violation of their freedom and rights to dispose of their property (money) as they see fit.

Cutting salaries will downgrade the next intake (incredible to believe that such is possible, but regrettably true.

The best way now to appease the public and salvage democracy IMHO is the removal of any pension rights earned by MP since the election of John Major. If the basic state pension is insufficient that is their fault. Alternatively a reduction by the same percentage of income as experienced by a typical personally saved pension might prove a compromise! I have figures for my own case that even I find hard to believe!!

I would like to join a party led by Dan Hannan but would hate to see his sensible ideas corrupted by association with the likes of those now in the majority at Westminster, although he has come through the Strasbourg experience well by disassociating himself from the EPP! Would the same be necessary as far as the Tories are concerned?


"Cutting salaries will downgrade the next intake" Oh please don't fall into that old trap. You could say pay peanuts get monkeys but the truth to often at Westminster is pay well get fat pigs. I don't believe that cutting the pay would discourage those who really want to serve, it would how ever get rid of those who want a safe-home in politics.
Personally I would love to be an MP on 50% of what they currently get. I seem to recall that we used to say that people should price themselves into work, why should MP's be a different case? Most especially at a time like this.

It's amazing how many of the prominent tories on that survey that I know nothing about.

Spending is more important than tax in my opinion. It would be impossible to for an opposition to give incredibly detailed proposals before they've opened the books but George really ought to be giving more details on what he would do as Chancellor. We would keep Child Trust Funds? Would tax credits be maintained? What about the New Deal? These are some of the questions that I think the Conservative Party can answer prior to an election.

The GDP of the UK is going to sink by about 15%, maybe more, and many many people will lose their jobs, even their homes, through no fault of their own. MPs should understand this and feel the pain too so there should be deep cuts in MPs pay, far more than 5%, and their allowances should be reduced to payment for public transport between constituency and Westminster, B and B accommodation in London when required and a secretarial allowance paid directly to the secretary.

The public have very nearly lost faith in the workings of our democracy and I fear that if we don’t start to restore this soon there is a danger of either a military coup and/or politicians, bankers and others hanging from lampposts. A 90 degree change in direction is required to avert chaos.

The Tories cannot spell out their tax plans in detail but they must prepare the public for what is to come (see above). This should include preparing for a MASIVE reduction on both public expenditure and taxes on business, starting with that pernicious tax on jobs known as employers National Insurance.

As for Daniel Hannan, his mind appears clear and unclouded, he speaks like an angel and in a way that almost anyone, from Cambridge graduate to carpenter, can understand and appreciate and, unlike most of our failing political class, he seems have grasped the measure and the magnitude of the problems we face. He is an emerging threat to Cameron and the Cameroons so I expect that the Tory leadership will try to keep him safely in Brussels for as long as they can!

The issue is not 'pay' but what is a fair price for the type of work done, as in what the premier division footballer gets versus what a cardiovascular surgeon is paid.

At present, given the chaos the country is in, we should really be asking the ministers for a refund. And what we are witnessing - wild and inappropriate claims - is the corruption of integrity.

So, you can cut their pay and they can still continue to be crooked. Let's not go down the path of tinkering but attend to the crux of the matter.

"The public have very nearly lost faith in the workings of our democracy and I fear that if we don’t start to restore this soon there is a danger of either a military coup and/or politicians, bankers and others hanging from lampposts. A 90 degree change in direction is required to avert chaos."

This should be a very high priority for a new conservative government. Repairing our democratic system. I hope that we don't have a military coup in the UK. However "politicians, bankers and others hanging from lampposts" is a real possibility. I don't think that many MP's are aware just how angry the population is at them, and the Bankers, who quite rightly are seen as the main reason for the mess we are in. When you work your butt off and produce, work overtime etc and then the company you work goes bust for no fault of the managers, who else can be blamed? D.C. needs to get a grip and put some distance between himself and the real villains of the crime of the century IE Labour and the incompetent greedy reckless bankers.

I find the lamp post notion almost appealing. Must start to identify location of lamp posts with the old ladder arms on.

David at home is right.The time when politicians can play fast and loose with peoples lives. Destroy families, leave people who have worked all their lives saving for a comfortable retirement and see it destroyed by politicians incompetence and bankers greed will end. The culprits will not simply walk away with impunity to enjoy their excessive pensions in comfort, themselves protected from the ravages that they have dealt out to the rest of us. We are a very forgiving nation but we will not be so for ever. A 90degree change is probably about right.

As to the third of the questions, yes please.
I have long yearned for someone to oppose the present government, Haigh, IDS, Call me Dave - do me a favour.

The sensible thing to do with MP`s is not cut there pay but give them a rise and cut out most if not all there allowances. That would stop the scandals that we seem to be getting by the week now.

Those questions on tax and spending are skewed. Tim Montgomerie wants to be able to proclaim from the rooftops that "TORY MEMBERS OPPOSE 45% TAX RISES".

Poor show.

Since you ask, Tim:

Your proposed cut in MPs pay is barmy!

With borrowing next year of £118,000,000,000, a saving of £2 million is clearly intended as nothing more than symbolic, so what does it symbolise?

It is intended to imply that our legislators share the suffering of their electors. To anyone who has lost their job or had their home repossessed this is frankly patronising and will be seen as such by voters more generally.

It also reinforces the idea that politics is in some sense an unworthy profession, a commonplace notion that if allowed to gain ground will lead not just to contempt for individual politicians but for parliament and for the laws they enact.

MPs do an important and demanding job. Some do it better, some worse; some diligently, some lazily; some idealistically, some self-servingly. We can argue about what constitutes an appropriate remuneration for that job, but the idea that it should vary with economic conditions is unreasonable.

These are serious times for serious politicians. Clipping 5% from the salary of a back-bencher will be seen for what it is, a patronising gimmick.

"The sensible thing to do with MP`s is not cut there pay but give them a rise and cut out most if not all there allowances."

For a self selected “man of the people”, Jack Stone, you are strangely out of touch. An increase in MPs’ salaries would go down like a lead balloon with about 98% of the electorate.

David_at_Home

I don't agree. I think the public would be quite happy to allow a small rise in the wage
of their MP if in return the countless allowances were scrapped. It would also be better for the members who will no longer have the temptation of fiddling their expense accounts,

It depresses me to see this constant idea to reduce the number of MPs, this is a really dangerous idea. Bigger consituencies mean more distant MPs who have to be less responsive to groups of residents within their area. It also means that with few MPs there are less people to take seriously the idea of acting as part of the parlimentary scrutiny process as anything more than a stepping stone to government.

A larger group of MPs means smaller chances of ministerial progress and then less dependence on patronage, meaning we get less sheeplike behavour and a parliament more able to scrunitise the output of the governmental machine.

We should be seeking to increase parliament and close down some of these regional talking shops and with more local MPs it would be a practical idea.

A pay cut would be only symbolic. A much better approach would be on day one, to announce a £40K increase in salary and the abolition of the ACA. Thereafter, MPs pay is inflation linked.

That way, MPs are well paid and responsible for their own expenditure - no receipts needed. I'll bet they would find cost effective ways to travel and stay in London.

I think the buying of a council block and allowing them to live there is a very reasonable idea as it will also reduce the security costs as they're all in 1 place.

By the same reasoning though it also makes one place to target.

Maybe they should use a disused tube station as that could be secured better.

I think the 2nd job ban is silly though. We need people who are in touch with what is going on, and also who aren't struggling to live on what they might consider a poor wage which would make them more susceptable to bribes

Richard Robinson @11:35"

MPs do an important and demanding job.

Wrong - 75% to 80% of legislating is done in the EU and most never even gets read by our parliamentarians (the Lords does best!).

A 5% cut as Mr Robinson also says is barmy. My pension cut plan penalises those according to their length of service, seniority and therefore culpabilty for the present mess which Libby Purves in The Times this morning correctly writes now requires 'wartime austerity'

It is not yet clear where the final percentage cut from the planned pensions for those who have saved for decades and reached 65 this year will end up. What is clear is where the blame lies and I for one expect a bigger cut than I must bear for those expense fiddling Members of Parliament who allowed this to happen.

I don't want Dan Hannan to be my MP. I want my MP to be like Dan Hannan.

Editor,

You neatly sidestepped the EU question again. I understand why - it would make bad headlines to see that the majority of Tory members support leaving the EU. But, you should be bold.

Martin Cole - If such a high proportion of UK legislation comes from Europe, surely it makes more sense for Daniel Hannan to remain an MEP in the European Parliament than transfer to Westminster in order to try and counteract that trend.

In reply to HYUFD at 13:22 - MEP have no power to propose legislation they merely push buttons to give it a semblance of democratic legitimacy.

They cannot actually amend legislation either, for if they do so in any meaningful way the EU Commission has the power to withdraw the entire package including the desirable bits always added to keep the MEP in line in the event the hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of salaries, perks and pensions paid to them and their sponsoring parties prove insufficient.

I cannot guess where the rage against all this clear electoral corruption will first get strongest, but personally I would not choose to become an elected MEP in the next Strasbourg Parliament as across the EU awareness of the conspiracy is becoming more broadly known.

Our MP in Westminster seem to me perhaps now equally exposed as Mr Pickles experienced on Question Time last week.

I have put the video from YouTube "Mad as Hell" on my blog again today, watching might help - it does me!!

" it would make bad headlines to see that the majority of Tory members support leaving the EU. "

Why would this be bad headlines, Resident Leftie, since it shows a close alignment with the electorate on this issue? Furthermore, if the Tory party were to adopt such a policy, it would go some way towards killing off UKIP, an outcome much favoured by many of the Tory Party faithful who inhabit this MB.

If this happened (or even if it does not), I would hope we in UKIP could reinvent ourselves, change our name, and move a bit leftwards on economic matters to steal some of the disenfranchised Old Labour voters, abandoned by New Labour (with their banker friends) and currently targeted by the BNP.

Well Martin, I've just looked at that clip.
That is all it will take soon, one person or act to trigger protest that will go wrong. Our 'leaders' do not understand the level of dissatisfaction. Corruption, immigration, finance misdeeds, ever increasing control and constraints on personal freedom. The constant, ubiquitous surveillance. We have just about become a police state, controlled by unelected faceless people here and in Brussels and it is frightening.

In case anyone missed it when I have said it before...

To 'share the pain' MPs should have a moratorium on foriegn holidays until the books balance.

How much of a cut would any of the front bench have to take for it to have the slightest impact on their lifestyles? For some it would have to be *more* than 100%

Ban foreign holidays for MPs.

Martin Cole - You are right that it is the Commission that puts forward legislation, with the Parliament only being able to propose measures for it to consider putting forward. However, both the Parliament and Council have the power to amend/reject legislation and as Hannan is one of the MEPS who cannot be 'bought' by the Commission, surely it is sensible to keep him in the Parliament where he can be a thorn in their side?

David at home. The public pay MP`s do lead not to always follow public opinion. I don`t think the public are exactly crazy about buying new tv`s and porno movies for MP`s.
If only MP`s were paid a straight salary then all this expenses nonsense would stop and we wouldn`t have MP`s on all sides shafting the taxpayer with dubious expenses claims!!!

Jack Stone,

May I recommend a little experiment to you or anyone else who believes that MPs’ basic pay should be increased.

Go out into the street and find a typical house worth perhaps £200K (and falling). Knock on the door and ask the householder if he/she believes MPs should have their basic salaries enhanced from the current £63K in order stop them cheating with their expenses. Repeat but this time in your local council housing estate and again in the posh part of town, where the houses are worth around £650K (and falling).

Then please come back here and report the results of your mini survey.

"Ban foreign holidays for MPs."

Absolutely, oh and while you're about it make sure they are only allowed to survive on a diet of bread and water.

Make sure that they are only allowed to have boot-faced female secretaries - preferably with a moustache.

Ensure that they are only allowed to replace their shoes when the soles have been completely worn through and are flapping. Trousers likewise - only allow them to buy new ones when holes appear.

This is getting ridiculous. I suspect that some people are beginning to rant out of mere spite. Understandable, in the light of miscreants such as Smith, but we are in danger of getting carried away.

MPs do not deserve a pay rise. What they should have is proper employment contracts so (as they are but glorified civil servants) if they break the rules they can be disciplined/dismissed for misconduct. As any other employee they should have a right of appeal and to take action against unfair dismissal if they consider it appropriate.

RE My previous comments on Daniel Hannan. Perhaps a future Prime Minister Cameron could appoint him as our next European Commissioner. That would really set the cat amongst the pigeons!!!!

Sally

MPs have to be able to do their jobs - it is self defeating to punish them by making that harder to do... It would punish their constituents.

The only way for them to 'share the pain' they they have brought down on us (should they want to) is for them to give up something that will have a serious (but harmless) direct impact on the standard of living.

While we lose our jobs, watch our savings disappear, cancel holidays - I think this it is quite reasonable for them to only holiday in the UK 'till the damage is undone.

I would hate "Dan" Hannan to be my MP.

[email protected]:16 - Best idea I've heard in ages! 10/10
(Once we've had a referendum and opted out, he can be our 'European Ambassador' as it will be a federal state by then!)

Let's not fixate on the films and the bath plug. Labour has made the whole business of governing the country way way way more expensive!
Havings said that: I voted for almost all the parliamentary expense cuts in the CH poll.

I can't believe some of the posts on this thread.

Try to:-

1) Stop ranting. It puts off potential Tory supporters.

2) Stop being apocalyptic. Society isn't collapsing.

3) Realise that although Dan Hannan's speech was good he has some way to go before he is experienced enough to make a good party leader.

4)Acknowledge that the majority of Conservative party members don't want to rerun the leadership election.

5) Be realistic about reforming MPs' pay and allowances.

Remember Tebbit's trade union reforms? They were gradually enacted over several years. Could very easily follow the same tack with MPs' pay and allowances.

In my opinion the best place to start is the additional costs allowances. Replace the second homes allowance with a lodging allowance.

Secondly stop employment of all relatives apart from MPs' wives/husbands and partnersfor existing MPs. Stop all employment of relatives for new MPs.

Stop MPs setting their own expenses.

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