Thursday, 2 June 2011

The case for a elected representitive to just take a average skilled workers wage

I feel there is a growing distrust of polititians in this country and across the world to be honest. It is still very fresh in peoples minds the expenses scandel of our elected polititians in this country decided to put the bill for all their fancy goods and luxury lifestyles on the heads of the electorate . Well how dare they ? so rightly so they are being punished this will result in a complete distrust of any MP i would think. No doubt this trust will be hard to win back and may not even ever come back.

Just today we hear of the latest figures for this year 2011.

In total, almost 25,000 claims were submitted and £3.2m was paid. Eighty four MPs had a total of £4,633 they asked for rejected.

Ipsa also revealed that MPs have spent £880,000 on official payment cards - similar to credit cards - since May 2010.

The cards - which have a monthly credit limit of £4,000 - were originally meant to pay for travel alone, but can now also be used for hotels, utilities and other bills.

This i find personally disgusting and provocative in the face of austerity measures to the working class.

The anger and disgust that people, already privileged with high salaries and positions, should then fraudulently claim thousands of pounds of expenses to which they were not entitled, is widespread.

A recent British Social Attitudes survey found that 60% of those questioned thought politicians "almost never" told the truth and only 28% trusted MPs not to fiddle their expenses.

The new rules set up in the wake of recent scandals in Parliament are administered by the Independent Parliamentary Scrutiny Authority; and already some MPs are complaining about it.

Those MPs will clearly have the heartfelt sympathy of tens of thousands of families who have had to challenge benefit decisions, or who now face massive cuts in essential services as part of the biggest austerity programme for generations. Or perhaps not!

MPs are already very privileged, receiving a basic wage almost three times the average. That, and the level of their generous expenses allowances, insulates and isolates them from the normal problems affecting the majority of the people they represent.

The Socialist Party requires all its members elected into public positions, such as MPs, to take the same wage as that of a skilled worker. When Dave Nellist , Terry Fields and Pat Wall were MPs in the 1980s, that worked out at around 40% of an MP's wage, or the equivalent of £26,000 today.

The 'surplus' was donated to socialist and trade union campaigns and causes, and accounts were regularly published in newsletters to be transparent.

Expenses should only be allowed where clearly necessary to do the job, and again be published and accountable, particularly to the working people locally who had elected that representative.

Much of the protocols of an MP's life, and the privileges lavished on them, are designed to suck them into defence of the system, so that (whether consciously or not) they feel more in common with the rulers than the ruled.

Breaking with those traditions, living in the area that you represent, and on the same wages, facing the same bills and problems as working people in a constituency can go some way to countering those pressures, and start restoring faith that elected, socialist officials would be different.

Only the Socialist Party regularly and consistently argues for that, and has the track record to prove it is not just simply words.

THE SHEER arrogance of MPs is astounding. Caught like rabbits in a car's headlights, they still claim they did nothing wrong when they asked us to pay for everything from KitKats to clearing out the family moat! Some of them are now offering to pay back some money but only because of the outrage from ordinary workers.

The only thing more astounding than the arrogance is the excuses. Apparently, MPs have to be able to claim lavish expenses so they can get to work on time.

One MP, whose constituency is in Luton, had her second home in Southampton, so she could maintain her relationship with her partner. No doubt, low-paid women workers who often have to take up several different jobs to secure a decent wage will be sympathetic!

Women who clean offices in the morning, work as teaching assistants or in a school kitchen by day, then have another job in the evening will know all about not seeing their family and ensuring that they get to each job on time. Not for them though, the luxury of a second home and taxi fares at taxpayers' expense.

Even when they clearly acted against the rules, MPs' excuses are that they over-claimed as they were 'too busy' to check. The trade union members who I represent would have been disciplined and sacked if they had used such a lame defence if they had ever been found to have over-claimed.

Yet, while MPs are living it up, we're expected to tighten our belts to pay for the economic crisis.

We need real workers' representatives to stand up for workers. The politicians, the government and the councils are not listening. We need a voice for the working class. This is why TUSC have stood candidates in this years local elections and will continue to do so to provide a working class socialist alternative that can benifit the majority not just the few.

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