Category Archives: MP salaries

Don’t be fooled by Johnson’s pose on MPs’ pay rise. Why didn’t he oppose it sooner?

Isn’t it curious that Boris Johnson has taken so many weeks to come out in opposition to the planned basic-rate pay rise of £3,300 for MPs?

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority announced in October that MPs could be entitled to the rise, starting next April.

Johnson said nothing at the time. If he genuinely believed that it was not appropriate for MPs to have the extra cash, at a time when the rest of us have been forced to tighten our collective belts due to the Covid crisis and his government’s calamitous response, he would have mentioned it then.

By a curious… coincidence?… the time period between that October announcement and now is roughly the length of time one would expect a focus group to report back to Johnson on whether such a pay rise was likely to affect his popularity.

Is that the real reason for his sudden piety?

It isn’t that long since we were all being told he was complaining about being poorly paid.

We all know Johnson is two-faced; I wouldn’t place much value on the face he’s showing us now.

Source: Boris Johnson against MPs’ pay rise, says No 10 – BBC News

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Welsh Tory MP voted to starve English children while Welsh Labour feeds those in her constituency

I raise this to point out the hypocrisy of Conservative MPs.

Last December, people in This Writer’s constituency – Brecon and Radnorshire, in Wales – voted Conservative Fay Jones into Parliament as their MP.

The Welsh government – run by the Labour Party – has already legislated to ensure that children who have been flung into poverty by UK-wide Tory policies and/or by the Covid-19 crisis will enjoy free school meals to ensure they do not grow hungry.

Last week, Jones was among the 322 MPs who voted to ensure that English children – afflicted in the same way by Tory policies – starve.

What utter hypocrisy.

The worst part of it is that people here will probably vote for her again, in the mistaken impression that she had something to do with the decision to provide free meals for children here in Wales.

I note that Ms Jones has been in Parliament for less than a year but has already incurred expenses claims totalling £25,717.57 – equivalent to the average wage in the UK – on top of her MP salary of around £82,000. She seems far more a waste of money than English children – the feeding of whom I would consider to be more an investment.

It is notable that she has also received a supporting donation from the bottled water company Radnor Hills, totalling £10,000.

Considering that fellow Tory MP Selaine Saxby has said she hopes firms providing food to starving English children should not seek government support, it seems appropriate that this firm (that would receive any such support from the Labour-run Welsh government, rather than Westminster) should be deprived of public support in return for backing Jones.

Don’t you agree?

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Did £150k-salaried Boris Johnson oppose #FreeSchoolMeals because he has to buy food for his own kids?

Rolling in it: Boris Johnson has received enormous amounts in donations related to his work as a member of Parliament. But now, as prime minister, he complains about having to pay for his own food and that of four of his six children, while denying free school meals to people earning less than £6 per hour.

Sour grapes from the UK’s prime minister?

In this case it seems likely.

Boris Johnson was one of the 322 Conservative MPs who voted against free school meals for children whose families have fallen below the poverty line, either because of 10 years of Conservative-fuelled wage depression or because the Covid-19 crisis is forcing them to live on a fraction of their normal income.

His choice to starve poverty-stricken children came only weeks after it was revealed that he is “complaining about money” because he is having to use his £150,402 prime ministerial salary to feed himself, his paramour and four of his six children. At least his accommodation is provided by the state, though!

Was his vote fuelled by resentment?

Well, it is a possible interpretation. It doesn’t present the prime minister in a very good light but, if people complain when you mention this to them, just remind them that they voted for him.

Of course, Johnson does receive a certain number of donations from pro-Tory sources. These seem to have dried up since he became prime minister but I note from the register of members’ financial interests that he has received two “gift hampers” worth a total of £1,100, that he registered in May.

Could the contents of those not have helped him out?

And the £14,672 he has made from his various books since the current Parliament began last year should also ease the burden a little, This Writer would have thought.

Come to think of it, some of the money donated to him in previous years might come in handy, considering the huge amounts he received.

For example, in 2019 he received from polling and market research company CTF Partners Ltd,  £3,000 and an interest-free loan of £20,000 for office and staffing costs.

From JC Bamford Excavators Ltd, of Uttoxeter (Constituency: Burton and Uttoxeter; MP: Kate Griffiths (Con)): £64,000.

From “general secondary education” firm RTC Education 2 Ltd (Constituency: Harrow West; MP: Gareth Thomas (Lab)): £10,000.

From First Corporate Shipping Ltd (trading as The Bristol Port Company) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £25,000.

From “holding company” IPGL Ltd (Constituency: Kensington; MP: Felicity Buchan (Con)): £20,000.

From real estate trader Countywide Developments plc (Constituency: Warwick and Leamington; MP: Matt Western (Lab)): £10,000.

From bookkeepers MET Trading Ltd (Constituency: Leeds North East; MP: Fabian Hamilton (Lab)): £5,000

From investment firm Killik & Co LLP (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £10,000.

From Audley Ltd (for whom Companies House failed to provide the nature of the business) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From “business support services” firm Albion Agencies Ltd (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From Dow Investments plc (Constituency: Edinburgh North and Leith; MP: Deidre Brock (SNP)): £10,000.

And from private donors: an eye-watering £633,900!

And a prime minister who has recently received this kind of wealth begrudges free school meals to children whose parents are living on £5.80 an hour.

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MPs get above-inflation pay rise to £82,000 after creating massive increase in in-work poverty

Doesn’t it make you proud to be British?

The so-called Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has given MPs an enormous pay rise.

They’ll now receive £82,000 as their basic salary, with ministers receiving much more. That’s a 3.1 per cent increase – much higher than the 1.8 per cent inflation rate.

And they’ll also get increased expenses – ostensibly to cover staffing costs.

Meanwhile, eight million working-age people are in poverty, with people in work totalling nearly 60 per cent of those in poverty.

So the Tories are rewarding themselves hugely for plunging the nation into poverty.

Source: MPs handed above-inflation pay rise to £82,000 | The Independent

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Here’s why people in the UK have really strange ideas about wealth

Laura Pidcock MP.

Isn’t it odd that people think if you’re wealthy, you can’t sympathise with or support people who aren’t as fortunate?

Labour MP Laura Pidcock had a taste of that attitude, as the record on Twitter showed:

The critic was a chap called Bryon Backhouse who appears to have deleted his Twitter history/account and started again after this embarrassing incident.

His comment, “Nice boots Laura, but at £380 a pair my wife will have to make do with slippers from M&S,” indicates a suggestion that her socialism is fake – that she’s in Parliament for the large MP salary that allows her to afford a pair of pricey boots.

Ms Pidcock swiftly put him straight: “LOL they were about £40”.

You have to laugh yourself, don’t you?

And John Scratcher’s response, “He’s probably trying the old fallacy that someone on £75k isn’t allowed to care about poor people,” seems right on the button.

Of course it isn’t true.

The measure of a citizen in today’s United Kingdom isn’t the amount they earn; it’s whether they are willing to pay their way – to give up a proportionate amount of their income for the state to use, investing in the economy or providing social security.

Sadly, too many Conservatives seem determined to avoid this responsibility – hiding their wealth in tax havens or pursuing other ways of avoiding paying their fair share.

If anybody thinks it is a coincidence that the UK is due to leave the European Union a matter of days before new EU laws come into force, forbidding tax avoidance, they need to think again.

So, for me, a person who takes home a huge amount of money is entitled to every penny – apart from the amount that is levied by the state.

As that person has benefited from economic conditions created by the state, it seems only right that they should contribute as well.

It seems clear that Ms Pidcock does indeed contribute in that way. I wonder if her critic does?

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Theresa May’s husband works for a firm that didn’t pay tax for eight years. Has it started yet?

Philip and Theresa May.

A row over the amount of tax paid by the firm that employs the prime minister’s husband has been revived – just in time for Christmas.

It was reported last year that the investment firm that employs UK prime minister Theresa May’s husband, Philip, had not paid any Corporation Tax since 2009.

The tax is paid only on profits, and it seems Capital International Ltd had managed to make a loss of £125 million over the eight-year period between 2009 and 2017.

It did, however, have a turnover of £467 million – nearly half a billion pounds – in the same period, and has assets of £1.1 trillion.

And it managed to pay its board of directors a total of £43 million in salaries and benefits during that time.

Creative accountancy?

You have to admit, it’s a little odd for a firm to be paying out bonuses to anybody at all if it is losing money.

It seems the company, which is part of the international Capital Group, made its losses after making multi-million pound payments to its parent organisation which is based in the United States and pays its taxes there. Another subsidiary, Capital International Sarl, is bassed in the tax haven of Switzerland.

It does not pay tax in years when it makes losses or in years when those losses have been carried forward.

The amount paid to Mr May is not known as the prime minister does not have to declare it.

The company expressed an intention to start paying tax again in 2018 and it is possible that the row has erupted again because we have seen no evidence that this has happened.

What are we to make of this?

People are certainly asking hard questions on the social media:

Meanwhile, Mrs May has been spotted in an exclusive shop where a handbag can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds – a price she certainly can’t afford on her Parliamentary salary:

I would like to have some answers on this. Wouldn’t you?

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Tory MPs should consider their own privileged position before lecturing others on how lucky they are

Nurses were angered at Tory MP Eddie Hughes’ suggestion they have a good deal compared to other workers [Image: Getty]


Eddie Hughes has demonstrated that he is living proof of the inverse ration between the amount of intelligence a Conservative MP has and the amount of time they spend flapping their lips in public.

Before he criticised nurses, he should have considered the fact that, as a Tory MP, he is also paid more than hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters – and much more than nurses.

And all he does for a living is flap his lips!

He should also have considered that, as an MP, he is ultimately responsible for deciding the amount that nurses are paid. Sure, a statutory organisation is said to set the figure, but it can only do this within limits set by MPs – people like Mr Hughes.

And he should have considered the fact that hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters, if they are self-employed, determine their own rate of pay according to the state of their business’s finances. As an MP, he can benefit from inflation-busting pay rises, no matter how badly his party has mismanaged the country, because he can always rely on nurses, hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters to pay their taxes.

And, as far as This Writer can tell, hairdressers, plumbers and carpenters haven’t complained about nurses’ pay.

If he had considered these elements, perhaps Mr Hughes would have said something different or – preferably – held his tongue.

But then, that’s the problem with Tory MPs like Mr Hughes: No consideration.

Nurses have been told by a Tory MP they get paid more than “hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters”.

Eddie Hughes MP has sparked anger by claiming junior nurses already have a good deal compared to other workers.

His intervention during a Parliamentary debate has caused anger among campaigners calling for a lifting of the 1% below- inflation pay cap which has left nurses £3,000 worse off.

The NHS faces an unprecedented staffing crisis with 40,000 nurse jobs unfilled.

Mr Hughes, Conservative MP for Walsall North, said: “Many workers in my constituency are employed as hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters, and what pay rise do they get?”

Read more: Tory MP sparks fury after claiming junior nurses are paid more than “hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters”


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How many MPs really stuck to their pay rise charity pledge?

[Image: The Sun (and I never thought I’d be typing that into a Vox Political caption!)]

Pro-SNP commenters to Vox Political have queried the claim that only 26 out of the UK’s 650 MPs have donated their £7,000 pay rise to charity, after 69 promised to do so.

They have claimed that all 56 SNP MPs have handed over the difference between MPs’ pay before the pay rise and the current rate to charity.

So let’s try to straighten the record. The report in The Sun states the following:

According to campaign website Donate My Pay Rise, 20 Tories, 30 Labour members, three Lib Dems, 15 from the SNP and one Green had all pledged to help good causes.

But only 25 confirmed to us they had donated or were currently preparing to do so.

However, one MP who had not made the pledge, confirmed he had donated his pay rise.

Dozens on both sides of the House refused to say if they had given it away or pocketed it themselves.

Not a single SNP MP who publicly pledged to donate the money to worthy local causes responded to questions from The Sun.

Source: MPs go back on pay rise charity pledge | The Sun |News|Politics

Now, it’s possible that the SNP’s Westminster contingent have refused to discuss the matter with The Sun on principle, as it is a right-wing, Tory-loving excuse for a newspaper that wasn’t worth wrapping around your chips when you were still allowed to do that.

But the fact that only 15 SNP MPs appear to have made the pledge, according to the campaigning site Donate My Pay Rise, plays very poorly for the Party.

News reports do state that the Party’s leadership ordered SNP MPs to donate the pay increase to charity. But Donate My Pay Rise, which quotes Angus Robertson from the article to which I’ve linked, only attributes the comment to him personally and not the Parliamentary Party as a whole. It is, in fairness, a comment that could be interpreted either way.

For the sake of fairness, This Blog will have to side with the evidence available. For now, that means The Sun and Donate My Pay Rise.

However:

If all 56 SNP MPs really have passed this money on to charity, perhaps the best way to demonstrate this is to contact Donate My Pay Rise, explain that Mr Robertson’s comment extended to the entire Parliamentary Party, and provide proof that the money has indeed been passed to charity at some point prior to the publication of the Sun article on October 31.

That seems the most reasonable solution to this question.

However (again): Even with all 56 SNP MPs contributing their shares of the pay rise to charity, that makes a total of just 81 MPs contributing out of 650, leaving a “silent majority” (Tory Tobias Ellwood’s words, not mine) of 569 pocketing the cash.

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