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Gordon's new expenses fiddle

Now that the dust on Gordons plan to clean up MPs expenses we see that he proposes first to employ MPs staff directly on the commons books, of course those 'employed' will still be selected by the MP in question thus ensure wives and other family members can still be employed, no sign on any checks on the ammount or quality of work.

Second home payments to be replaced by a per diem payment. In reality this will allow MPs to get 5 days attendance foor 3 days in the house as they only have to use their entry swipe cards to get the cash. It is likely that the daily rate will be set to ensure that an MP making the avcerage attendance will get at leasta as much as the maximum second home allowancew, so more money with less accountability.

At least the new plan will stop those in grace and favour homes double dipping.

Not surprisingly neither the tories or the LDs are best impressed, more cash, less accountability.
 
And, brilliantly,

say you've paid off your second home and are not claiming for it at the moment (which is a fair few hundred MPs). Under this new system of attendance allowance you start claiming again because it's not for a second home! Consequently, the bill actually goes up from what it is at the moment. Genius.

Although, in the spirit of biter bit, I like the crackdown on second jobs as this has the potential to be another 10p tax fiasco. It's designed to embarrass the Tories, but, given the likely outcome of the next election, when the Tories give up their second jobs to take up ministerial positions it will be the Labour MPs who suddely find that they can't top up their salaries because they banned it. :lol:
 
kinross_special. Your para 2 just made me smile. :D

This is another half (being generous) thought out quick fix that's the hallmark of this Government. I wonder what the cost benefit anaysis looks like?
 
Passed-over_Loggie said:
kinross_special. Your para 2 just made me smile. :D

This is another half (being generous) thought out quick fix that's the hallmark of this Government. I wonder what the cost benefit anaysis looks like?

And will the same apply to MPs with TU sponsorship, the old labour alternative to second jobs for MPs.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Like it, fancy being paid an extra per diem just for turning up for work. The trough gets deeper and deeper.
 
The system being proposed seems loosely based on the House of Lords daily attendance allowance (HLAA). However the apparent generousity of their Lordships allowance belies the fact that they receive no salary or pension. Their HLAA is all they get. Still I would happily forgo my pay & pension for their daily allowance for life! I could work one week in four and still take home considerably more than I earn! :razz:
 
thingy said:
The system being proposed seems loosely based on the House of Lords daily attendance allowance (HLAA). However the apparent generousity of their Lordships allowance belies the fact that they receive no salary or pension. Their HLAA is all they get. Still I would happily forgo my pay & pension for their daily allowance for life! I could work one week in four and still take home considerably more than I earn! :razz:

From what I have seen it is more like the Brussels scheme where MEWPs can be seen quequeing to clock on on Friday morning before immediately clockin out so that they can claim a Friday per diem. With our lot we would see them claiming 5 days worth for 3 real days in town. All it is is a scheme intended to pay even more in expenses with even less scrutiny, and my MP has the temerity to claim it is an improvement. Clearly it is an improvement for MPs bent on getting the max out of the system but I do not see it as an improvement for the taxpayer. It would for example allow that nice Jaqui bint to trouser even more cas and be able to give poor hubby a weekly porn allowance.
 
Maxi_77 said:
Now that the dust on Gordons plan to clean up MPs expenses we see that he proposes first to employ MPs staff directly on the commons books, of course those 'employed' will still be selected by the MP in question thus ensure wives and other family members can still be employed, no sign on any checks on the ammount or quality of work.

Second home payments to be replaced by a per diem payment. In reality this will allow MPs to get 5 days attendance foor 3 days in the house as they only have to use their entry swipe cards to get the cash. It is likely that the daily rate will be set to ensure that an MP making the avcerage attendance will get at leasta as much as the maximum second home allowancew, so more money with less accountability.

At least the new plan will stop those in grace and favour homes double dipping.

Not surprisingly neither the tories or the LDs are best impressed, more cash, less accountability.

I'm not sure how the three days for five days works (presumably you would have to swipe on five different days; if it's an issue of timings you can introduce a 'clock off' element as well) but I agree that there are problems with the per diem, but the devil is in how much they get. The thing people ignore is they have two places of work - one in the constiuency, one in Westminster, so there needs to be some sort of arrangement although a per diem naturally has problems and the second homes allowance was simply indefensible. I'm not as confident as you that it will be as much or more than the ACA - that would be politically suicidal. I think they know they have to cut it and will do so accordingly, but again we'll see. That doesn't, as you note, resolve the issue of the fact that a per diem is less accountable. I don't see why the House can't just pay for hotel rooms, end of story, with no subsistence - the salary is enough to cover that!

You are wrong about the staff thing though. As I understand it the House of Commons will in the future have oversight of all staff paid by them (which they don't at the moment), and this will mean monitoring of working practices. The devil will be in the detail about appointments, but I have no objection in principle to family members working for MPs provided they are working for MPs. What will change is that the MPs will not be able to appoint staff without input from the House authorities.

In terms of line management, the same thing already exists in local government where political assistants provide work for the council group they are appointed to serve, but they are not employed by the group but by the Council as a whole and it's up to the resident HR department to monitor them and ensure this is up to scratch.
 

ctfairway

Lantern Swinger
Maxi_77 said:
Now that the dust on Gordons plan to clean up MPs expenses we see that he proposes first to employ MPs staff directly on the commons books, of course those 'employed' will still be selected by the MP in question thus ensure wives and other family members can still be employed, no sign on any checks on the ammount or quality of work.

Second home payments to be replaced by a per diem payment. In reality this will allow MPs to get 5 days attendance foor 3 days in the house as they only have to use their entry swipe cards to get the cash. It is likely that the daily rate will be set to ensure that an MP making the avcerage attendance will get at leasta as much as the maximum second home allowancew, so more money with less accountability.

At least the new plan will stop those in grace and favour homes double dipping.

Not surprisingly neither the tories or the LDs are best impressed, more cash, less accountability.[/quote

The thing that pisses me off about this is that we went through all this in the MOD years ago when it was rightly recognised that any type of compensation for working away from home (MPs in Westminster are the same as people in the Services working in the MoD) which is based on giving out cash (either a daily allowance or a "second homes allowance" ), is open to abuse. In the MOD the scheme set up consisted of getting an independent estate agent to offer a choice of three flats to anyone coming to work in MOD. You chose the one you liked and then the agent rented it on your behalf and the rent was paid centrally by the MoD. All you could claim was a small allowance to cover utilities. MPs should do the same.

I also dont see why MPs should be able to claim for food while working in the House. They should pay for their own food out of their salary like everyone else.
 
ctfairway said:
The thing that pisses me off about this is that we went through all this in the MOD years ago when it was rightly recognised that any type of compensation for working away from home (MPs in Westminster are the same as people in the Services working in the MoD) which is based on giving out cash (either a daily allowance or a "second homes allowance" ), is open to abuse. In the MOD the scheme set up consisted of getting an independent estate agent to offer a choice of three flats to anyone coming to work in MOD. You chose the one you liked and then the agent rented it on your behalf and the rent was paid centrally by the MoD. All you could claim was a small allowance to cover utilities. MPs should do the same.

I also dont see why MPs should be able to claim for food while working in the House. They should pay for their own food out of their salary like everyone else.

Spot on. Couldn't argue with that.
 
ctfairway said:
I also dont see why MPs should be able to claim for food while working in the House. They should pay for their own food out of their salary like everyone else.

I see even less reason as to why they should able to claim for Sky, broadband, and bath plugs! Introduce them to the joys of trying to claim things back through JPA, they will probably end up doing what half of Service Personnel do, and just give up!
 
shipsnthat said:
Maxi_77 said:
Now that the dust on Gordons plan to clean up MPs expenses we see that he proposes first to employ MPs staff directly on the commons books, of course those 'employed' will still be selected by the MP in question thus ensure wives and other family members can still be employed, no sign on any checks on the ammount or quality of work.

Second home payments to be replaced by a per diem payment. In reality this will allow MPs to get 5 days attendance foor 3 days in the house as they only have to use their entry swipe cards to get the cash. It is likely that the daily rate will be set to ensure that an MP making the avcerage attendance will get at leasta as much as the maximum second home allowancew, so more money with less accountability.

At least the new plan will stop those in grace and favour homes double dipping.

Not surprisingly neither the tories or the LDs are best impressed, more cash, less accountability.

I'm not sure how the three days for five days works (presumably you would have to swipe on five different days; if it's an issue of timings you can introduce a 'clock off' element as well) but I agree that there are problems with the per diem, but the devil is in how much they get. The thing people ignore is they have two places of work - one in the constiuency, one in Westminster, so there needs to be some sort of arrangement although a per diem naturally has problems and the second homes allowance was simply indefensible. I'm not as confident as you that it will be as much or more than the ACA - that would be politically suicidal. I think they know they have to cut it and will do so accordingly, but again we'll see. That doesn't, as you note, resolve the issue of the fact that a per diem is less accountable. I don't see why the House can't just pay for hotel rooms, end of story, with no subsistence - the salary is enough to cover that!

You are wrong about the staff thing though. As I understand it the House of Commons will in the future have oversight of all staff paid by them (which they don't at the moment), and this will mean monitoring of working practices. The devil will be in the detail about appointments, but I have no objection in principle to family members working for MPs provided they are working for MPs. What will change is that the MPs will not be able to appoint staff without input from the House authorities.

In terms of line management, the same thing already exists in local government where political assistants provide work for the council group they are appointed to serve, but they are not employed by the group but by the Council as a whole and it's up to the resident HR department to monitor them and ensure this is up to scratch.

The real problem with the per diem is that on the basis of the figures quoted many will get more than they do now and with less acountability, ideal for the inveterate troughers don't you think. Second homes allowance where they are paid for actuals is not so much the problem in principle rather itis the operation of the current scheme where we get the Jaqi approach bending the rules as far as they can be pushed. If this paid for the extra house and the state to a share in the equity if the state paid mortgage interest, and they tightened up on what could be claimed for and stopped those in grace and favour homes double dipping then I suspect most would be happy with the scheme.

An attendance scheme is a recipe for even more rip off I'm afraid, just look at both the House of Lords and the European parliament.
 

fishhead

War Hero
This is a "back of a fag packet" idea cooked up by Downing Street to try and distract the populace from what they quite rightly see as a massive abuse of public funds.No actual figures have been quoted and many questions unanswered so I believe it all should be treated with the greatest scepticism until we see the details.One way of guaging how good or bad it is for MPs will be how keen they are to adopt what are in fact just proposals at present.
PS The nickname for the HofL's Attendance Allowance system is SISO.....Sign In Sod Off
 
Maxi_77 said:
shipsnthat said:
Maxi_77 said:
Now that the dust on Gordons plan to clean up MPs expenses we see that he proposes first to employ MPs staff directly on the commons books, of course those 'employed' will still be selected by the MP in question thus ensure wives and other family members can still be employed, no sign on any checks on the ammount or quality of work.

Second home payments to be replaced by a per diem payment. In reality this will allow MPs to get 5 days attendance foor 3 days in the house as they only have to use their entry swipe cards to get the cash. It is likely that the daily rate will be set to ensure that an MP making the avcerage attendance will get at leasta as much as the maximum second home allowancew, so more money with less accountability.

At least the new plan will stop those in grace and favour homes double dipping.

Not surprisingly neither the tories or the LDs are best impressed, more cash, less accountability.

I'm not sure how the three days for five days works (presumably you would have to swipe on five different days; if it's an issue of timings you can introduce a 'clock off' element as well) but I agree that there are problems with the per diem, but the devil is in how much they get. The thing people ignore is they have two places of work - one in the constiuency, one in Westminster, so there needs to be some sort of arrangement although a per diem naturally has problems and the second homes allowance was simply indefensible. I'm not as confident as you that it will be as much or more than the ACA - that would be politically suicidal. I think they know they have to cut it and will do so accordingly, but again we'll see. That doesn't, as you note, resolve the issue of the fact that a per diem is less accountable. I don't see why the House can't just pay for hotel rooms, end of story, with no subsistence - the salary is enough to cover that!

You are wrong about the staff thing though. As I understand it the House of Commons will in the future have oversight of all staff paid by them (which they don't at the moment), and this will mean monitoring of working practices. The devil will be in the detail about appointments, but I have no objection in principle to family members working for MPs provided they are working for MPs. What will change is that the MPs will not be able to appoint staff without input from the House authorities.

In terms of line management, the same thing already exists in local government where political assistants provide work for the council group they are appointed to serve, but they are not employed by the group but by the Council as a whole and it's up to the resident HR department to monitor them and ensure this is up to scratch.

The real problem with the per diem is that on the basis of the figures quoted many will get more than they do now and with less acountability, ideal for the inveterate troughers don't you think. Second homes allowance where they are paid for actuals is not so much the problem in principle rather itis the operation of the current scheme where we get the Jaqi approach bending the rules as far as they can be pushed. If this paid for the extra house and the state to a share in the equity if the state paid mortgage interest, and they tightened up on what could be claimed for and stopped those in grace and favour homes double dipping then I suspect most would be happy with the scheme.

An attendance scheme is a recipe for even more rip off I'm afraid, just look at both the House of Lords and the European parliament.

Fair enough. I've just seen some of the figures quoted for the per diem and they are talking over £140 a day which strikes me as absurd. Apparently the LDs and the Tories have rejected it in a meeting with Brown today but he wants to push on regardless - serious mistake IMHO.
 
As the pongoes and crabfats have the tower of London, so Jack should administrate the signing in of MP's to Westmister, (so the secretary can not just swipe them in and out)

Jack ensures by fingerprint that the MP is the correct person, and stays for a minimum of eight hours per day to be entitled

Jack should be paid an average £60k a year for this position, and not forget to swipe himself in and out of Westminster, whilst administering their duties for his/her diem

On the other hand we could keep our Queen and get rid of all the barstewards and recruit new members on realistic salaries, JPA expences, and increase their salary by promotion up to Adm Fleet, providing they are professionaly qualified and passed all exams

Oh for a reformist party to stand

Jack McH
 
IMHO the Governemnt should buy/convert suitable accomodation, to SLAM standards, and locate all MP's there. They could then rent these rooms at a reasonable rate. If they wish to 'LIVE ASHORE' they can do so at their own expense!
Does this not seem fair??????
 
wafu_number_two said:
IMHO the Governemnt should buy/convert suitable accomodation, to SLAM standards, and locate all MP's there. They could then rent these rooms at a reasonable rate. If they wish to 'LIVE ASHORE' they can do so at their own expense!
Does this not seem fair??????

Whilst in a number of ways your suggestion has some merit, I fear that any thing like that would end up costing us more than the present system, On the otherhand tighter rules on the present system with a shared equity schem where mortgage subsidy is paid we would end up paying less and get greater accountability. The is in fact little wrong with the present schem that a bid of tightening up on the rules and a lot stricter enforcement could not fix. If one added to that real penaltiers for breaking the rules such as loss of pay then I am sure we would have a bunch of little goody two shoes working for us.

Monthly publication of MSPs expenses has solved the problem to a very large extent in the Scottish Parliament
 
That's really not going to work though is it WAFU? God knows MPs ahave been taking the p*ss royally for years but every time people come up with your suggestion there is more than a bright eyed gleam of some sort of vicarious thrill that they're going to have to slum it. No-one in their right mind is going to volunteer for a job, however well paid, which involves living in a glorified youth hostel. Just consider the average age of MPs- somewhere in the late 40s early 50s- and on a Captain's wage. How many buildings full of four ringers do you see?

These are mature people with families, often the kids are at the exam age at school so they can't move around all the time. You seem to think that they should just bite down on it and accept that they're going to be in London more often than not, and without the room to put up family members who are visiting in their one bedroom.

I don't suppose you'd go for the military answer though would you? Which is to let people have their own house wherever they like and then have a family home for minimal rent (owned by the govt) on the married patch near the base port (Westminster).

Because to make this in anyway workable you don't need to buy a SLAM block, you need to buy 650 odd family homes in London.
 
If my previously posted suggestion won't work then adapt it

Or

650 MP's
128 Day Session of Parliment
£140 Attendance allowance

Taxpayers bill £11,648,000 per annum just to get these people to a place of work they knew they would need to attend when the volunteered for the job.
I realise that not all MP's will attend everyday (too many important fact finding missions to conduct at tax payers expense), hwever there must be a better system than this?
 
wafu_number_two said:
If my previously posted suggestion won't work then adapt it

Or

650 MP's
128 Day Session of Parliment
£140 Attendance allowance

Taxpayers bill £11,648,000 per annum just to get these people to a place of work they knew they would need to attend when the volunteered for the job.
I realise that not all MP's will attend everyday (too many important fact finding missions to conduct at tax payers expense), hwever there must be a better system than this?

How much is Gordon paying you, the whole point of this thread was that the per diem scam was even more of a rip off for Joe Taxpayer than the present scheme
 
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