Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quote of the day

Couldn't put it better myself, Iain Dale on Harriet Harman's written announcement on MPs' expenses:
Harriet Harmon:

We will ask the Committee on Standards in Public Life to look at the circumstances applying in Northern Ireland before final application of the flat rate allowance for MPs representing Northern Ireland.

Iain Dale:

Outrageous. Are we United Kingdom or not? Do we want two classes of MPs? Betty Boothroyd declared that there is no Associate Membership of the House of Commons and she was right.

I hope all our Unionist MPs from Northern Ireland stand their ground on this one; they are United Kingdom MPs and they should demand to be treated as such, in exactly the same way as their fellow MPs from England, Scotland and Wales, instead of some kind of 2nd-class hill-billies who only slink in from the backwoods in order to collect the bags of dosh on offer.


fair_deal said...

Your desire seems to be so

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the party welcomed the government's plans to reform the living allowance.

"However, we would oppose any plans by the government to treat Northern Ireland MPs differently from other MPs in the UK and have tabled a motion drawing attention to this," he said.

"The 18 Northern Ireland representatives should be subject to the same rules and regulations as other MPs who live outside of London.

"It would be outrageous to have a situation where MPs who don't attend Westminster were receiving the same payments for not attending as those representatives who do."

Alwyn ap Huw said...

If I understand the last comment, the different rules for NI MPs are reasoned because some NI MPs choose not to take their seats.

The new attendance allowance is supposed to replace the allowance paid to MPs for having a second home in London as well as the family home in the constituency.

Do MP's who refuse to attend Westminster actually claim the London home allowance?

(NB. This is a question asked in oredr to obtain an answer not a rhetorical question asked to make a political point1)

Dewi Harries said...

Yes they do Alwyn. IIRC Sinn Fein have 2 flats in Lpndon for which they claim.

O'Neill said...

That's good to hear. There's no reason whatsover why the same system of expenses shouldn't apply for all UK MPS

BTW, apologies for not getting back to you after you answered my questions on the racism thread on Slugger. Paula Bradshaw has answered almost all what would have been my supplementaries, I'm still curious about what kind of racism awareness goes on in the local schools but that can wait for another day.


If I understand the last comment, the different rules for NI MPs are reasoned because some NI MPs choose not to take their seats.I might be being incredibly cynical, but I'm not at all sure that's the government's real or complete reasoning on this one.
Re the SF claims for housing expenses, it amounts to about 100k per annum , their total claim for expenses from Westminster is about 450k

fair_deal said...

No worries

Alwyn ap Huw said...

Thanks for the answers!

People who don't take their seat claiming for their bed seems to me to be part of the London homes scandal.

Why doesn't Ms Harman realise this?

Where is the principal in refusing to sit in a British Parliament, whilst taking money for sleeping in a British parliamentary bed?

O'Neill said...


None whatsover, but from the Sinn Fein and I guess a fair proportion of their electorate it makes sense-there whole purpose is not to uphold the principles of UK democracy but to screw it anyway they can.

Doesn't mean the system and we as the British taxpayers should indulge them (and others) obviously.