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  1. Government owned properties will all be public knowledge. We’ve had an MP murdered in recent years, credible threats made against others. I’m not sure why where they sleep has to be public knowledge or what the gain is, as long as expensesvon private places are controlled.
  2. Security and other risk issues with putting everyone in one place. You’d not let half your MPs get on the same plane together in case of a crash. You don’t want a fire taking out the building where half of them are living. The worst of those expenses claims have mostly been eliminated with changes to the system since the big scandal. A lot of expenses are effectively centrally controlled now e.g. IT equipment used in constituency offices has to be sourced through Parliament and must be returned when you lose or otherwise leave your seat.
  3. Indeed. Cabinet members are on around £150k. Junior ministers between £105 and £125k depending on level. Select Committee Chairs about £100k. Leader of the Opposition £140k. They all still need a home in London (or commutable distance) for when they’re in Westminster. That’s true for all MPs, wherever their seat. The ones not in commutable distance need a home in their constituency too. London MPs need 1 home, at London prices. Northern MPs need a London home at those prices plus a constituency home.
  4. It’s a factor that’s reduced if you’re already a local, obviously. And in general local candidates should be preferable. But a general election campaign is still enough work that you’re giving up the day job for a period to do it and lots of potentially great candidates just can’t do that. This is a different issue though and not sure increasing pay for anyone who gets the job at the end of the process solves it.
  5. I just think it’s better to have all that covered by a separate, robust and transparent expenses system. But agree it’s not worth getting hung up on that premise really.
  6. There are other financial barriers to entry though. If you want to run - especially as a candidate for a major party in a competitive seat - then you’ve got to move there and work pretty much full time, giving up or taking a sabbatical from a day job , for at least a few months in advance of the election.
  7. You’re still saying that MPs for London seats should have more money after expenses than MPs for seats in the North, the West Country, Scotland, wherever else. That’s inherently unfair and arguably says To those communities that their representatives are worth less than Londoners representatives are.
  8. Not going near that figure, but a flat rate of expenses, whether included in the salary or separate, is not a remotely fair proposition. The costs of accommodation and travel for an MP whose constituency isn’t in London (or somewhere a very close commute to it) are always going to be substantially higher than they are for an MP who only needs to live in one place.
  9. Absolutely. But your proposal to defer earnings until after the stop being MPs doesn’t address the time spent writing while they were an MP. If that’s a problem, you have to ban them writing altogether while they were MPs.
  10. But this comes back to the core point - is your objection to them earning more money from other sources or taking time that distracts them from the job?
  11. Where would you live? How would you commute from Birmingham? Sounds like a recipe for making the job the preserve of the independently wealthy.
  12. I do think it’s very hard to draw the line with writing. Columns are one thing, but what about books? We could likely all agree that they shouldn’t be dashing off novels of an evening. But what about books on political theory or internal party matters like Benn wrote a few of? What about other non fiction like history or biography? Where do you draw that line, or do you just ban all book writing of any nature?
  13. Well this is it. I’ve just been trying to ascertain whether there was consistency to the position here. Mostly cause I’m bored at home this morning. If there isn’t, it’s fine. It’s absolutely OK to just think Javid and JP Morgan are c****. I know I do.
  14. I don’t imagine any MP (or councillor for that matter) saw their workload reduce during lockdown. The ones I know were all swamped by increased levels of casework from struggling constituents.
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