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To think it's utterly ridiculous that MPs get a free £15 dinner? And complain about it?

(26 Posts)
Theicingontop Fri 05-Apr-13 07:48:23

Metro Link

Don't most of the country have to buy their own food at work? Why is it any different for them? They get paid a decent salary, and with what they're allowed to claim through expenses, buying their own dinner shouldn't be a stretch.

The comment about the armed forces had me in shock.

And they brand other people scroungers.

maddening Fri 05-Apr-13 07:51:42


I think they should also pay their own travel and there should be no second home - I reckon a halls of residence type of affair where they can book a room when they need to be in london would be good. They could share a kitchenette between a few rooms also.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 05-Apr-13 07:59:59

And their subsidised alcohol in the house of commons bar...

Who was that MP who claimed for her second home - which was nineteen miles from her actual home?

19 miles.

That's how far away we live from my husband's office.

Many people live much further.

We all make our own way to work.

Those who live too far away to do a daily commute pay for a bed out of their wages. They don't get a bloody house on expenses!

You know, no MP has got the right to say anything about people scrounging and taking the piss.


HollyBerryBush Fri 05-Apr-13 08:02:21

A hall of residence would be a terrorist target, you could wipe out the entirity of parliament in one hit. Which some smart arse will say "huzzah, what a good idea" but we voted them in, this is democracy.

releasethehounds Fri 05-Apr-13 08:03:23

YANBU - have to agree totally with everything posted so far. I have been ranting on about this like Victor Meldrew for years, but typical Britain, nothing actually changes. Groan groan....

bigkidsdidit Fri 05-Apr-13 08:04:34

why aren't MPs' second homes subject to the bedroom tax? They are paid for by the taxpayer.

wannabedomesticgoddess Fri 05-Apr-13 08:05:05

Ha yes. The whole parking debacle with Osborne highlighted to me that he was having a McDonalds on tax payers money.

I think they should be given prepaid cards that can only be used in a list of places approved by the tax payer.

Something healthier than Maccy Ds surely. Or maybe he was trying to be "down with the plebs."

fuzzywuzzy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:06:02

They should get an allowance for premiere inn type accomodation for overnights.

They should not get subsidised alcohol, they should pay their own expenses and commutes and food like the rest of us do when we're working overtime.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:07:22

mostly they should all have to use the fabulous public transport that we do, with interest free season ticket loans, like we do.

wonder how fast the fares would drop and how many more trains would go on the track and how much cleaner the trains would be then!

pippitysqueakity Fri 05-Apr-13 08:09:51

Why would a Hall of Residence be more likely to be targeted than HoC? Genuine question.

LadyVoldemort Fri 05-Apr-13 08:10:33

I get really wound up about how good they all have it. I know it wouldn't solve all our money problems but it'd probably help a lot if they just got paid a normal wage and didn't have all the bloody luxuries they could want.

HollyBerryBush Fri 05-Apr-13 08:11:12

Using a hotel would also be a security breach - enough stories in the press about MPs and military top brass leaving top secret papers laying in tubes and the back of cabs. Access by chambermaids etc to hotel rooms would make for a national security issue.

FWIW I don't think they are paid that much, (just short of 66k for a back bencher) factor in that they have to pay a constituency secretary, CoH secretary plus share a researcher with another MP or two, the thick end of £35K has gone in paying someone elses wages. none of it is directly funded by parliament.

My mate was Derek Conways constituency secretary, and she was on 15K - so that would be a good gauge.

Every time you get a change of government, you get swathes of predominantly women (who are the bulk of secretarial roles) in fairly low paid jobs (15k is half the national average) made redundant. It is unlikely someone from another political party would re-employ them.

Netguru Fri 05-Apr-13 08:12:04

I work there (not an MP). The utter crap in the media is depressing.

I pay on average £5 for lunch. That's a canteen meal of one course or a sandwich which is slightly cheaper. Coffee (mug of instant) is 75p. Nice coffee is Starbucks prices. A bottle of coke is £1.50. There are very few other places to go outside and getting past security/tourist queues makes it impractical. Talk of subsidies cover the costs of security/staff/buildings not cheap booze.

My husband has a canteen at work where lunch is around £2.50. Tea and coffee plus fruit and muffins are free. Nice coffee is 60p. If his work requires him to be away from home he can claim an unlimited evening meal. He earns three times what an MP earns and four times what I earn.

My son's work gives him a £25 a day allowance for being away from home.

Most MPs have to stay in London away from their families. If you constantly cut back on any provision for this you will end up with only the rich and men wanting to be MPs. Why shouldn't an MP who is a young mum be able to stay with her child during the week? Or does your outrage extend to precluding anyone with a young family from being involved in politics.

There were some outrageous claims and outright fraud committees by some MPs. But try to understand that out of 650 peoplr you will get some who take the piss. That should not mean changing the rules so that ordinary people can't serve.

Gatorade Fri 05-Apr-13 08:13:01

I don't have a problem with MPs having a dinner allowance for when they are working late, this is in line with other private and public organisations (my private sector employer included). I don't think it should be transferable to lunch though, the current situation is perfectly adequate.

If you want to attract the best candidates to be MPs then the package needs to be appropriate and in line with what they may achieve from alternative employment (I personally have what Ithink would be an unpopular view that MPs are not paid that well compared to other city workers, although the additional perks they get go a long way to make up for this).

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 05-Apr-13 08:16:18

I think most of us when working away from home get some sort of expenses. My husband gets up to £10 a night. Wetherspoons is his friend as he can get an OK meal and a pint for that. although it's not exactly healthy! Hehas to buy his own lunch and cannot claim for this, despite the fact that when working locally he takes sandwiches etc with him from home which cost a fraction of the price. Grrrrrrr

StatisticallyChallenged Fri 05-Apr-13 08:17:28

I have to work away from home sometimes - and if I am our company policy is up to £30 a night for dinner plus our travel and accomodation is paid for. That seems to be pretty standard. I have a child, so if I get an assignment away from home I go home every weekend.

I don't think removing that sort of expense coverage from MPs would be sensible - we'd just end up with an even more London/rich boy-centric parliament than we have already.

HollyBerryBush Fri 05-Apr-13 08:18:21

How many Mps are there these days? 650 or thereabouts.

Very few of them are high profile, or have second streams of income through directorships or family money (sure, some have) but they are the anomaly.

If I were MP for Far Flung Scots Region, with nightmare travel, disruption, having to work away all week, I'd expect an over night allowance as well.

I thought I read somewhere that the HoC bar had the same subsidy as the NAAFI for service personnel?

Waferthinmint Fri 05-Apr-13 08:20:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlasticLentilWeaver Fri 05-Apr-13 08:21:25

gatorade I entirely agree. The salary for MPs may be higher than national averages, but considering the level of responsibility placed upon them and rhe expected hours, I do not consider them that high. If you want to attract high calibre candidates, you have to offer a comparable package to what is available elsewhere.

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:22:50

I don't think MPs are overpaid. I also agree that if parliament sits after 7.30 it's perfectly reasonable for them to be able to claim for dinner. No way it should be transferable for lunch though, that makes no sense.
holly MPs salaries are not used to pay secretaries etc. that's what expenses are for.

JakeBullet Fri 05-Apr-13 08:26:51

Not in the NHS, the only time I was offered a free dinner was if I worked on Christmas Day.

...and on courses etc I was expected to provide my own lunch (unless provision had been made which it wasn't as it was all in house), we sometimes got tea and coffee though.

I always took my own lunch/evening snack with me.

...and while we are on the subject of meals....our local council is cutting the hot meal it provides to the elderly who attend it's day centre. For some its the only hot meal they might have in a day but the council needs to save £30k.

I don't preclude anyone going into politics and if they HAVE to sty in London away from their families fair enough. I sincerely hope they are NOT moaning about a hot meal which some of our vulnerable memers of society are denied.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 05-Apr-13 08:29:14

When I'm travelling to and from work with laptops containing sensitive data, I'm expected to have the sense to not lose it or leae it on the train, why should MP's be mollycoddled, they are being paid to do a job if they stay at a hotel for overnights, they should know to check the place before leaving to ensure they do not leave behind sensitive documents.

That's no reason to need an income on a second home.

A lot of people travel pretty far to get in to work.

JakeBullet Fri 05-Apr-13 08:30:03

I agree they should be able to claim for a meal.....and while we are at it so should our doctors, surgeons, nurses, midwives etc who all work after 7:30 and sometimes well beyond their hours of work too. And teachers who have been at work since before 8.00am and are still there at 9pm due to evening events and Governors meetings etc..

ByTheWay1 Fri 05-Apr-13 08:31:16

When I went away with work we were paid petty cash for meals and incidentals (phone call home, transport to place of work from hotel etc..) ?25 a day allowance - maybe we should go for that instead... That was on top of actual spend for hotel and train tickets.

Our MP works HERE in our constituency, not in London - they go down there for 3 or 4 days for so many weeks of the year, the rest of the time they work hard in their constituency, working for local people - most of which haven't even voted for them.. (I certainly didn't - though he did sort out a local problem for us on funding for a child carer's respite facility - hence feeling kindly towards him being away from his young family4 nights a week)

p.s. As for second homes - the rules changed.... in 2010!!

The relevant snippet is below
< Accommodation:

The ?London Area? has been redefined: 128 MPs in constituencies within 20 miles or 60 minutes? commute from Westminster (listed under Schedule 2) won?t be eligible for accommodation expenses. MPs outside the ?London Area? will only be able to claim for a rented one-bedroom property . Associated expenditure can be claimed, such as utility bills, council tax, home contents insurance, landline, broadband and ?connection to an approved television broadcast package and usage charges? >

StuntGirl Fri 05-Apr-13 11:12:18

I think being an MP is an important role and a tough job and I agree that their wages should reflect that. I have no problem with their wages.

I think expecting lots of freebies and subsidies along the way is ridiculous though, and the system was left open to abuse by idiots for a long time.

It's fairly standard for the evening meal to be the one included in expenses claims, so I don't know why they're complaining about that.

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