Minister needs to stop whinging!
06/12/2010 11:58 am
"Housing Minister Grant Shapps says he has been forced to sleep in his office after the clampdown on expenses. The multi-millionaire MP for Welwyn and Hatfield sent photos of his camp bed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, complaining the crackdown had gone too far. Expenses laws say MPs whose constituencies are in or close to London can only claim for hotels “under exceptional standards.”
What a cheek at a time when his actions will result in people losing their jobs and losing their homes - the Minister needs to get real.
The hard pressed workers in this county, who do not have the status nor resources of being a Millionaire, can not claim expenses for the cost of everyday living, utilities nor housing. We have to fund such things from our wages. Perhaps the Minister will feel more reconnected if he has to make his wage stretch to fund his costs the same as the rest of us do.
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03/01/2012 3:28 pm
Apologies for the missing 'P' - I think someone must have taken it!
03/01/2012 3:27 pm
Perhaps now the anniversary of the Shapps RTB relaunch has passed it is time to remember the anniversary of his attemt to grab a second home whilst robbing the poor of theirs.
Some things are too disgraceful to be allowed to be forgotten.
08/12/2010 2:51 pm
I can't see the MPs going for the communal properties or the pre-arranged bookings, simply because they would be harder to scam - or am I being to harsh against the trough snuffling money grabbing self serving members.
Fair to a point nonnie, and I endorse the out of pocket expense argument, but in this case from a man who is happily removing the option of affordable and secure housing from the poorest in society it is whinging. When he moans about not be able to claim for accommodation, he misses the point that he could otherwise afford accommodation, yet he is legislating to remove the housing benefit which for some city workers is the only thing that makes there job affordable. If they are forced to move out of their homes because of the loss of benefits they will not be able to afford to travel in to work, and nor will they have a Ministerial Car to bring them to and fro. Perhaps the hypocrisy is more apt than the whinging, but whinging has a better sting to it.
08/12/2010 2:42 pm
Anon(nie) from 07/12 @ 2:44pm back here...
PSR - thanks for clarifying what you mean. I'd overlooked the Ministerial car point. Maybe Ministerial cars should go - the money saved on cars and drivers could pay for a higher accomodation allowance?
I tend to agree with points made about the government buying properties that MPs can share and use as and when they need to. Plenty of private companies do this for their employees. Either that or negotiate some low prices at various B&Bs or hotels.
I still stand by my view that it's not unreasonable for employees to be able to claim travel, accomodation, and subsistance expenses if their job requires them to travel and stay away. I travel all over the country for work and frequently have to stay away becuase that's what my job requires. If I had to pay for all my petrol and hotel bills I'd actually end up earning less than the minimum wage.
I've only read the Telegraph's account from the link PSR posted. But from their report, I don't interpret what Shapps is saying as 'whinging.' I interpret it as someone raising some points for discussion. Just because his view is unpopular, it doesn't make it 'whinging' in my view.
07/12/2010 4:36 pm
I can not believe that Shapps has become so blase so quickly. How could he not believe that people would link this moaning about his lack of recourse to taxpayer funding for a second home when he is acting to deny so many access to their first home. How could he be so stupid as to not anticipate his comments would be viewed against the context of massive cuts and increasing poverty. I've never liked the man's politics, but I never thought him to be such a fool. At least when Pickles bleated on about Brentwood being too far to commute one could expect such from the bufoon, but Shapps was supposed to be intelligent!
I've raised the issue with the local press within his Constituency as I believe the many good people of Welwyn and Hatfield deserve to know what their representative is like, and how detached from their daily financial realities he is.
I hope that others will raise the issue in their own areas' press so that people can see what these New Tories are really all about.
07/12/2010 3:54 pm
It also should be done in Brussels for MEPs,
07/12/2010 3:45 pm
They shouldn't have to camp in the office, but, surely in the taxpayers interest, it would be a good investment for a hotel-type block or block of bedsits could be built and offered at cost room rate to be booked by mps who need to stay over!? I belive they do this in parts of europe already!
07/12/2010 3:31 pm
Nonnie - do not mistake this as MP bashing. I completely support MP's being paid, otherwise it will only ever be millionaires who form the government (now there's irony!)
Reasonable expenses supporting an average workers salary would best ensure that MPs were in it for the good and not for the wad.
You are wrong about the cost of London Hotels. A quick search shows 2* for £30, 3* for £30-40, 4* for £60-80.
Aren't you lucky to be allowed expenses - but when it comes to the taxpayer these MPs are telling us every penny counts - why then should they expect to not contribute reasonably to accomodation. For instance Shapps can be driven home in his Ministerial car, but choses not to despite only being 35 miles away from home. His consituents have to make the same choices every day, but without the expenses option, and without so much whinging!
07/12/2010 3:05 pm
As most MPs are based out of London and they have to spend some time in London, to stop abuse and limit expenses, the governemnt should buy or purpose build new properties in London for the use of MPs which they keep or vacate according to election results, exactly like happens with 10 Downing St.
Unless this is done our cleveredst MPs will always find a way of bending the rules.
07/12/2010 2:44 pm
If I have to stay away for work, my company (private sector) pays for overnight accomodation and subsistance in line with an agreed expenses policy. I can claim up to £20.00 for an evening meal and I have to find a hotel from a list of agreed hotel chains. Premier Inns are usually first choice.
I would expect any one - whether they work in the private or public sector - to be able to do the same. It shouldn't be a badge of pride to prove how tough you are having it (some posters here come across like they're in the Monty Python 'Yorkshiremen' sketch!) Do you want people turning up fit for work or not?
A £130 a night hotel allowance seems too low for London to me. Have a look at how much Premier Inns charge in London - between £100 and £150 per night. No doubt the government could do a deal with a few chains and negotiate a lower rate, but I still don't see why MPs should have to bed down in their office...
...unless the real end-game for the public is to humiliate MPs. Y'know, that good old British quality of petty revenge. Clearly the old expenses system was corrupt, but the new system seems to be a knee-jerk extreme reaction to adverse press coverage. What a great way to create your policies!
No worker, public or private, should have to pay to do their job. A fair system of expenses is needed for MPs, not one that satisfies the tabloids.
07/12/2010 2:16 pm
Apologies for posting a link to a newspaper - but the only alternative would be to cut and paste endless pieces and quotes from the trough grovellers we call MP's
Having had to spend nights away from home for work, and at my expense not the taxpayers, I'd have considered £130 per night excessive, yet this lot find it too little so have to sleep on camp beds - which they claim from their expenses.
How can MPs qualify for nearly £1000 per week accomodation on top of their salary, food expenses etc dare ask everyone else to accept pay freezes, higher rail costs, inflation, job losses and benefit caps, especially when the latter is set under half what they may screw from the taxpayer themselves. - Is anyone elses blood boiling on this?
06/12/2010 5:51 pm
It looks like Minister Shapps never paid for a hotel in his life, and he is not going to start now - probably that's why he's made so much money to become millionnaire
06/12/2010 5:02 pm
He already has when he was having is earlier crusade to prove he was down with the people, and he didn't do it in winter, and it clearly did not last in his mind.
Can anyone find out if the taxpayer purchased the camp bed for him as that would be classically funny.
06/12/2010 4:32 pm
I bet £10 that we will ever see Minister Shapps spending a week with the homeless sleeping rough to see what is it really like...
and if he does I bet he will have his camp bed with him and portable central heating to go with it.
06/12/2010 2:55 pm
That's the point Melvin. If it were You or I having to work late we would either have to travel home or look for a cheap hotel - either way funding the cost out of our paypacket. This joker however, who is hardly on a minimum wage, expects us to pay for his costs. Part of the reason MPs receive above average earnings is out of respect that they do incur the occassional extra cost such as this, but Shapps wants cream on top of his jam.
Sorry Grant - but you can expect no sympathy for expecting the taxpayer to pay you uncapped benefits.
06/12/2010 2:29 pm
He was hardly 'forced' was he.
Has he heard of Novotel?
06/12/2010 12:51 pm
Go PSR that is correct in every way. How dare they
06/12/2010 12:49 pm
Well no other job that I know you get your travelling expenses or a second home payment and understand its £400.00 per week.
How dare he
06/12/2010 12:41 pm
These new politicians have no clue as to what the real world is, they've never been in it!