TOP STORIES

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Saturday, June 02, 2012 Posted by Jake 8 comments Labels: , , ,
Posted by Jake on Saturday, June 02, 2012 with 8 comments | Labels: , , ,


[UPDATED FEB 2016: MPs got another pay rise, of 1.3%, in April 2016, taking their salary to £74,962. This was on top of a 10% rise decided in August 2015 and backdated to the general election. The increase is an annual adjustment decided by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which takes into account average public sector pay rises. However, it is slightly higher than the 1% public sector pay cap introduced by Chancellor George Osborne.]



Doctors, nurses, teachers, and all other public servants - if you want some tips on how to plead for more money you have no better example to follow than our members of parliament. You all may be having your pay and pensions sliced. But remember our poor Parliamentarians too had a chunk taken out of their incomes - when they were stopped from making dodgy and fraudulent expense claims that netted some of them tens of thousands of pounds.

Frustrated at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) having the cheek to check on their reimbursements, and wanting to get a boost to their incomes from more carelessly doled out expenses, our Members of Parliament produced the following survey of themselves and statistics from their navel-gazing report published in 2011, which aim to show:

a) They reckon they work much harder than MPs from previous years, citing the number of pages of legislation, the number of meetings, number of reports, and the number of questions asked. They skate over the probable reason of the increase - computers and word processors spewing out padded verbiage that 30 years ago had to be laboriously produced by hand.
b) IPSA, the people who control their expenses really don't understand what they do, and why they really do need moats and duck houses.
c) We Ripped-off Britons really don't appreciate how lucky we are to have them, and they are cheap at twice the price, and they are really high calibre people, and we should be grateful, and... (I think you get the message)

In short, while the rest of the country's public servants are required to accept cuts to pay and pensions for the sake of the nation, the MPs want IPSA to get out of the way and hand the public purse back to the Honourable Members.

Questions in the survey include:

4. Do you agree with the following statement? IPSA's expenses system is adversely affecting MPs' family lives.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 41.0 84  
Agree 36.6  75 
Neither agree nor disagree  16.1 33  
Disagree 4.4  9 
Strongly disagree  2.0 4  
answered question  205  

5. Do you agree with the following statement? IPSA understands what I do in my role as an MP.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 1.0 2  
Agree 3.4  7 
Neither agree nor disagree  8.7 18  
Disagree 34.0  70 
Strongly disagree  52.9 109  
answered question  206  

Annex 2

Statistical information on the workload of MPs
Number of electors/people per MP 1922-2010


Source: Railings and Thrasher, British Electoral Facts: 1832-2006 (2007), pp 88-92.
House of Commons Library data.
Office for National Statistics population data.
B R Mitchell, British Historical Statistics (1988), pp 13-14.
Pages of legislation (Public and General Acts and Statutory Instruments)



Source: Parliamentary Trends: Statistics about Parliament, House of Commons Library Research Paper 09/69, 12 August 2009, Table 2.
Select Committee meetings per sitting day



Liaison Committee, Second Report of 2009-10, HC 426, The Work of Committees in 2008-09; First Report of 2008-09, HC 291,The Work of Committees in 2007-08; and Sessional Returns for 1985-86 to 1996-97.
Select Committee reports per sitting day

Liaison Committee, Second Report of Session 2009-10, HC 426, The Work of Committees in 2008-09; First Report of Session 2008-09, HC 291,The Work of Committees in 2007-08; and Sessional Returns for 1985-86 to 1996-97.
Written Parliamentary Questions per sitting day 

Parliamentary Trends: Statistics about Parliament, House of Commons Library Research Paper 09/69, 12 August 2009, Table 2; and Sessional Returns for 1987-88 to 1989-90.




Survey by the Committee of MPs' views on the operation of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009
206 Members completed the survey between 30 November and 6 December 2011.
1. When did you enter the House?   Response %  Response count  
2010 or later  38.8  80   
before 2010  61.2  126   
answered question     206   


2. Do you agree with the following statement? The current IPSA Board offers MPs effective support in carrying out their parliamentary duties.   Response %  Response count  
Strongly agree  1.0  2   
Agree  6.3   13  
Neither agree nor disagree   11.7  24   
Disagree  48.1   99  
Strongly disagree   33.0  68   
answered question     206   


3. Do you agree with the following statement? Independent regulation of the expenses system is important to improve public confidence in Parliament.   Response %  Response count  
Strongly agree  34.1  70   
Agree  43.4  89 
Neither agree nor disagree  15.1 31  
Disagree 6.8  14 
Strongly disagree  0.5 1  
answered question  205  


4. Do you agree with the following statement? IPSA's expenses system is adversely affecting MPs' family lives.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 41.0 84  
Agree 36.6  75 
Neither agree nor disagree  16.1 33  
Disagree 4.4  9 
Strongly disagree  2.0 4  
answered question  205  


5. Do you agree with the following statement? IPSA understands what I do in my role as an MP.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 1.0 2  
Agree 3.4  7 
Neither agree nor disagree  8.7 18  
Disagree 34.0  70 
Strongly disagree  52.9 109  
answered question  206  


6. Do you agree with the following statement? IPSA should publish the receipts it receives in support of claims.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 6.9 14  
Agree 24.0  49 
Neither agree nor disagree  29.4 60  
Disagree 26.5  54 
Strongly disagree  13.2 27  
answered question  204  


7 Do you agree with the following statement? IPSA was right to introduce more direct payments to suppliers.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 59.3 121  
Agree 35.8  73 
Neither agree nor disagree  3.9 8  
Disagree 0.5  1 
Strongly disagree  0.5 1  
answered question  204  


8. Do you agree with the following statement? The time taken for MPs and their staff to submit claims to IPSA is such a burden that it hinders them from doing their job.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 52.7 106  
Agree 32.3  65 
Neither agree nor disagree  7.5 15  
Disagree 5.5  11 
Strongly disagree  2.0 4  
answered question  201  


9. Do you agree with the following statement? Since June 2011, I have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of time my staff and I spend dealing with expenses.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 0.5 1  
Agree 17.6  36 
Neither agree nor disagree  23.9 49  
Disagree 39.0  80 
Strongly disagree  19.0 39  
answered question  205  


10. Do you agree with the following statement? The extension of the travel card represents an improvement to the system.  Response % Response count 
Strongly agree 21.5% 44  
Agree 46.3%  95 
Neither agree nor disagree  26.3% 54  
Disagree 5.4%  11 
Strongly disagree  0.5% 1  
answered question  205  


11. In the last six months, can you estimate  0 1-2  3-5 6-10  More than 10 I don't submit claims Response count 
on how many occasions you have received inconsistent advice from IPSA?  15.8% (32) 32.2% (65)  35.6% (72) 8.4%
(17)
  
4.5%
(9)
 
3.5%
(7)
 
202  
on how many occasions IPSA has lost paperwork that you submitted in support of a claim?  34.2% (69) 39.6% (80)  17.3% (35) 5.0%
(10)
  
1.0%
(2)
 
3.0%
(6)
 
202  
on how many occasions you received particularly helpful service from IPSA staff in relation to the processing of expenses claims?  23.6% (48) 42.4% (86)  22.2% (45) 4.4%
(9)
  
4.9%
(10)
 
2.5%
(5)
 
203  
how many of your claims have not been processed and paid by IPSA within their target of 12 working days?  3.1%
(6)
 
13.4% (26) 20.1% (39)  20.1% (39) 39.2% (76)  4.1%
(8)
 
194 
how many of your inquiries to IPSA by email were not responded to within their target of 5 working days?  29.6% (56) 25.9% (49)  21.2% (40) 9.0%
(17)
  
9.5%
(18)
 
4.8%
(9)
 
189  
answered question  204  


12. Since June 2011, how useful have you found the advice provided by IPSA?  Very useful Fairly useful Not very useful  Not at all useful  No opinion I haven't contacted IPSA  Response count 
(a) by telephone  9.9%
(20)
  
48.0% (97) 17.3% (35)  13.9% (28) 3.0%
(6)
  
7.9%
(16)
 
202 
(b) in writing 2.0%
(4)
 
16.2% (32)  22.3% (44) 13.7% (27)  12.2% (24) 33.5% (66)  197 
(c) by email 3.0%
(6)
 
38.7% (77)  24.1% (48) 16.6% (33)  6.5%
(13)
  
11.1% (22) 199  
(d) in person 9.9%
(19)
 
13.6% (26) 3.1%
(6)
  
4.7%
(9)
 
15.7% (30) 52.9% (101)  191 
answered question  203  


13. How easy or difficult have you found it to submit your most recent claims?  Response % Response count 
Very easy 2.5  5 
Fairly easy 40.4 82  
Fairly difficult  40.4 82  
Very difficult 12.8 26  
No opinion 3.9  8 
answered question  203  


14. In the last 6 months, have there been items of expenditure (for accommodation, utility bills, travel, subsistence, refreshments for constituents, office and staff costs etc) for which you have not claimed even though you were entitled to reimbursement?  Response % Response count 
No, I've claimed for everything for which I am entitled to reimbursement  7.4 15  
Yes, totalling less than £1,000  55.7 113  
Yes, totalling between £1,000 and £5,000  26.1 53  
Yes, totalling over £5,000  10.8 22  
answered question  203  


15. What are your main reasons for not submitting legitimate claims? (rate the importance of each reason)  Very important Quite important Not very important Not applicable, I submit all legitimate claims  Rating average Response count 
It takes too much time  34.4%
(63)
  
43.7%
(80)
 
15.8%
(29)
 
6.0%
(11)
  
1.93 183  
The submission system is too complicated 32.8%
(59)
  
43.9%
(79)
 
18.3%
(33)
 
5.0%
(9)
  
1.96 180  
IPSA won't pre-approve claims  26.8%
(44)
  
28.0%
(46)
 
37.2%
(61)
 
7.9%
(13)
  
2.26 164  
I want to protect my reputation by avoiding media coverage  56.4%
(101)
  
25.7%
(46)
 
10.6%
(19)
 
7.3%
(13)
  
1.69 179  
It's not worth the trouble submitting small claims  42.8%
(80)
  
40.1%
(75)
 
11.2%
(21)
 
5.9%
(11)
  
1.80 187  
answered question  198  

MPs know how to play the system. Over the last few decades MPs have a barnstorming record on getting above inflation increases in their allowance. An MP’s allowances in 1975 of £3,200 would have risen by 2007 to £19,367 if RPI inflation had been applied. The actual 2007 figure is £90,505.

8 comments:

  1. You can't be implying that our honourable representatives are manipulative and venal....surely?

    IMO there is a growing disconnect between those who 'rule' us and the electorate. As mentioned on Today this morning, it impacts of our view of 'Democracy' and goes some way to explaining why we value it less and less.

    One question though, what would you replace it with? (Serious question btw)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Winston Churchill said,

      "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried".

      A sentiment I have to agree with.

      Delete
    2. What indeed, so long as money controls the world greed will exist and people in power will likely, not always but mostly, take advantage of available perks. It's human nature, do for you and your's first. Standard practice.

      I know it's become a cliche/consipracy nutters wet dream but it is our only hope; we must kill the great beast which is capitalism; a beast we created of course, and in its place put a resource management based economy. Note that an economy is "the efficient organisation and management of available resources", which is not what we have. Hence we observe profiteering scum that seem to float to the surface of our foetid society and guzzle all the cream.

      Delete
    3. Two frightening words - President Blair?

      Delete
  2. Perhaps Unions could use the same arguments to secure more wages for members. We are all doing more with less, so surely we need more money too?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Adam Ifriyie MP, chairman of the Parliamentary committee on MP's expenses, explaining how keeping tabs on MPs expenses "undermines democracy and undermines the peoples' voice".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kGST6g3nso

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maximum financial services problem comes from public servants: if you want more cash in your pocket you have to put your arguments effectively. To see how this is done: nobody does this better than our Honourable Members of Parliament. Its good to publish it because everybody knows what happens is done in country. Doctors, nurses, teachers, and all other public servants - if you want some elearning on how to plead for more money you have no better example to follow than our members of parliament. They could not well known about the financial services elearning courses, they just know how to get more and more money. You all may be having your pay and pensions sliced but these kind of people never do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What - I wonder - was Churchill's DEFINITION OF DEMOCRACY?
    Monarcho/Westminster tyranny, cloaked as democracy, bears no inspection. Even universal suffrage simply serves the Machiavels of faux democracy.
    The unquestioning proles are saddled with 'D' MOCK CRASS Y? http://spoilpartygames.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete

Share This

Follow Us

  • Subscribe via Email

Search Us