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MPs do not deserve an increase in expenses

PUBLISHED: 18:49 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 19:05 24 August 2018

MPs are seeking a rise in expenses to deal with Brexit. Image: PA Images.

MPs are seeking a rise in expenses to deal with Brexit. Image: PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

The British taxpayer will be furious at the news MPs are demanding yet more money for their expenses, writes Chris Moncrieff.

Is the fatted calf getting ever more corpulent and greedy? It would certainly seem so judging by the latest demands of Members of Parliament.

They are lobbying for a larger expenses budget because of what they claim is the “extra workload” foisted on them by Brexit.

This latest demand will be greeted with sardonic laughter by the hard-pressed British taxpayer who has to foot the bill.

Judging by the MPs’ expenses scandal which came to light in 2009, many people would marvel at the brass neck of MPs calling for yet more perks. At the moment a substantial number of MPs have managed to boost their expenses budget to £180,000 a year, for staffing and office-running.

Over the past 50 years or so, admittedly, the MPs’ workload has significantly increased, something which is largely their own fault, since they have been taking on responsibilities which would normally lie in the domain of local authorities.

Long gone, I’m afraid, are the days when being an MP was regarded as a vocation rather than just a job. In those not so far off days they were poorly paid and could barely afford a humble bed and breakfast place. They even had to buy their own postage stamps to write to their constituents.

I am not suggesting that we should return to those days, but I am suggesting MPs should be satisfied with their present lot: They are well paid and well-heeled, with already over-generous expense accounts.

And they have received pay rises far in excess of most other public servants. So I trust that the authorities who deal with these matters will boot this demand not just into the long grass, but right out of sight. Why should the taxpayer have yet more holes burnt in their pocket?

• What do you think? Send your thoughts for publication in The New European to letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

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