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mojojojo
mojojojo
1940 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 15, 2009, 18:46
"But the second homes of millionaires (whether politicians, businessmen or rock stars) shouldn't be subsidised by the taxpayer. Not so long as there's a single person on a single hospital waiting list. Isn't that just obvious? How is there even an ethical grey area here?"

Nicely put.

x
geoffrey_prime
geoffrey_prime
758 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 15, 2009, 19:35
Well I was hoping you might find it in yourself to be positive about a Tory politician. It was not unexpected to find a couple of Left Wingers in your post...and even less unexpected "Militant Tendency"! This brought back some very strong memories back of Mr Hatton and the farce at Liverpool City Council in the '70's..Deggsie trying to win one over on Thatcher - no chance.
I am sorry to say that I think Unions were generally very poorly led in that era...and the results, for many industries and the public sector, which should well have been predicted, catastrophic.
Anyway..good to talk..but I dont think we will see eye-to-eye on a "left - right" debate. In fact, am I the only Tory who posts on this board?
geoffrey_prime
geoffrey_prime
758 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 15, 2009, 19:41
Honestly, no.
MP's should live in their constituency, but clearly Parliament demands they spend considerable time in London too.
I can see the business need to have a "second home", if you work 100 hours per week, quite a bit of that in London - working sometimes late into the night. It's common-sense practical.
The expense rules should ensure that this is not exploited as a perk.
grufty jim
grufty jim
1978 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 15, 2009, 22:03
geoffrey_prime wrote:
Honestly, no.
MP's should live in their constituency, but clearly Parliament demands they spend considerable time in London too.
I can see the business need to have a "second home", if you work 100 hours per week, quite a bit of that in London - working sometimes late into the night. It's common-sense practical.
The expense rules should ensure that this is not exploited as a perk.

How come Kelvin Hopkins can live in Luton (a 45 minute commute from Zone 1) and doesn't need a second home, but David Cameron can't get the train from Oxford?

See, when some of them manage it quite adequately, then it's surely -- by definition -- a perk for the others?

As I say, I understand it if your constituency is Newcastle or Cornwall. But Oxford? Does Cameron work that much harder than every other commuter who makes the journey from Oxford every day? So much harder that the rest of them need to subsidise him to the tune of One London House?

Bollocks does he.

As I've said elsewhere though, I'm sure the tories will fire a bunch of teachers and close some hospital wards as soon as they take office. That'll save the treasury far more than they've helped themselves to. So much more, in fact, that they might even have enough left over to reduce taxes for high earners like themselves.

Everybody wins!*


----------------------------
* Note: Everybody does not win.
Merrick
Merrick
2148 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 15, 2009, 22:14
sanshee wrote:
he also claims for expenses to visit his estranged family.

Now, how many men and women get help with that sort of thing? It's a personal responsibility thing, right? I don't think this has made the Telegraph hit list (I may be wrong), but why not?


Have a shufty, and if it hasn't then drop them a line.
Merrick
Merrick
2148 posts

Re: Fuel for extremists?
May 15, 2009, 22:35
head-first wrote:
I was considering whether to bother using my vote in the upcoming elections, but this chap on the TUC website might have a point:

"Refusing to vote will not stop a single councillor or MEP getting elected. Instead it will simply make it much more likely that extremists - particularly those peddling race hate and intolerance - will be elected. This is a particular danger in the Euro-elections where the proportional system allows people to get elected on a relatively small share of the vote."


This is an absolutely vital point.

Turnout at European elections is always low anyway. This time the mainstreamers will stay at home, and the share of protest votes will go up. A lot will go to the BNP. If they score over 8%, they get seats. And they also get hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money.

It's fucking vital we turn out and vote for anyone but the BNP.
Merrick
Merrick
2148 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 15, 2009, 22:40
geoffrey_prime wrote:
MP's should live in their constituency, but clearly Parliament demands they spend considerable time in London too.


Ignoring the fact that many MPs live well within commuting distance, yes, many MPs do need a London address.

It's already been suggested on this thread that we could have bought a block of flats for sitting MPs to have. Why should they be bought a second home that they get to keep?

Even before the block of flats plan were enacted, a real conviction MP wouldn't be taking money for a second home. Or, they could do it on condition that it gets passed on to whoever is the MP for that constituency MP in future.

Personally, I'd take away the second home and simply make them eligible for Housing Benefit. The government reckons that Housing Benefit's enough to provide somewhere decent enough for someone to live. Fine, let them prove it.
nigelswift
7920 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 16, 2009, 07:10
grufty jim wrote:
This "second home allowance" nonsense is just a way of declaring corruption within the rules. Why didn't British MPs go the route of more transparent democracies and commission a block of small but functional apartments owned by the public for use by MPs when parliament is in session? Why decide upon a system that allows MPs to build up bleeding property portfolios on expenses?


IMO you've pointed to the part of the corruption that absolutely dwarfs all the rest. A rent allowance is obviously the only sensible way to deal with it - capped at a reasonable level and payable only as long as it's needed.
So why did they sanction private ownership and publicly subsidised mortgages? There's only one possible reason: for the past decade or two if you bought a house in London and timed it right you could anticipate a vast capital gain. £500K becomes £1,500,00 and you gain the difference. And here we are tut-tutting about the cost of cleaning a moat!

Here's a suggestion: if paying back bits that shouldn't have been claimed is the order of the day, let's have them pay back the capital gain on that portion of their houses that we've paid for. I wouldn't be surprised if that would mean MPs haven't cost we the taxpayer anything to run, and we might even have made a profit on our investment - as so we should. If we've invested in London property for the past 15 years and come out of it with 0% gain each year, and someone else has pocketed the profit, we're mugs. And if the someone else that gained was the same someone else that set it up that way and is now making a big deal of paying back a footling gardening bill but not the vast capital gain, we're even worse mugs.
anthonyqkiernan
anthonyqkiernan
7093 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 16, 2009, 11:36
Just heard a bloke on The Week In Politics say "you can't even get selected as a candidate these days unless you pledge to live in the constituency", in a tone that suggested incredulity at the fact.
geoffrey_prime
geoffrey_prime
758 posts

Re: I'm sorry
May 16, 2009, 16:30
What pray then is an appropriate political solution for us right now?
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