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Another MP who thinks first class travel is their right.

(38 Posts)
0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 18:15:53

www.shropshirestar.com/news/2012/10/26/rail-fares-for-shropshire-mps-revealed/

His response was that it allowed him to work as the wifi is free...but it only costs £20 for a month when travelling in standard on virgin.

Also his assertion that 1st class is cheaper if booked ahead...cheaper than if booked at short notice yes, but still not cheaper than standard.

Other Public Sector workers aren't allowed to travel first class so thy can work - as the government dismiss this reason as a fallacy. So why can badger culling Daniel?

What do you think?

tiredemma Sat 27-Oct-12 18:19:46

I think that they are all grasping bastards.

OddBoots Sat 27-Oct-12 18:22:58

I don't see the problem with it as long as they pay the difference between standard and first out of their own money, likewise flights - or at the very least pay benefit in kind tax on it.

AThingInYourLife Sat 27-Oct-12 18:25:51

Sometimes first class tickets are cheaper than standard fare, depending on when you book.

Would you prefer he wasted public money just to appease the tabloids?

RTchoke Sat 27-Oct-12 18:38:52

The rules allow them to book cheap, early first class. In all honesty I think that MPs should be able to travel first class so they can work easily. They have huge caseloads, long hours in parliament and they have to travel loads. They are also MPs, its an important and busy job, I don't agree that their pay and perks should be less than the average solicitor.

PessimisticMissPiggy Sat 27-Oct-12 18:39:40

Yes, sometimes first class is available cheaper than advance standard tickets.

I spend a lot of my time on trains for work and must do work whilst I travel. Standard class is not suitable when you are reading sensitive restricted policy documents and I often find myself having to put papers away because of the nosey sod person sat next to me.

I'd rather my MP used his time effectively working than having to restrict himself like I do (and foolishly end up using my own time so I'm briefed and prepared for meetings). And yes, I'm a public servant.

Please think about the cost of lost time not just the cost of the ticket!

AThingInYourLife Sat 27-Oct-12 18:42:59

And I agree with RT - our public representatives do an important job and I think it makes sense for them to do their frequent travelling in a way that maximises their ability to work.

Eve Sat 27-Oct-12 18:44:03

I do agree with Miss Piggy, I work for a large corporate and measure the MPs expenses against what we are allowed on expenses.

1st class, on a long journey with a large workload usually after a long weeks work is acceptable if booked in advance.

...no comment on renting houses to each other!

I do suggest getting our expenses payment team to look after the MPs, now that would sort them out.

PrincessOfChina Sat 27-Oct-12 18:45:07

It is barely possible to work in Standard Class unless you can guarantee a table seat, which is not always possible. The wireless in Standard is pretty shonky too ime.

When travelling for work I book a standard ticket but if the seat I'm allocated isn't suitable, or I'm travelling well out of working hours (6am or 8pm for example) I upgrade. I see no reason why MP's shouldn't do otherwise.

TunipTheHollowVegemalLantern Sat 27-Oct-12 18:46:27

I don't want a situation where the people who legislate on transport are all insulated from what it's like for most people. I think normal MPs should travel standard. Everyone else who has to work on the train and has to travel standard somehow manages to do it - I used to.
I might let Cameron and Osborne travel first once in a while though, but only if they promise not to say 'We're all in it together' any more.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 18:46:45

RT choke - but other high graded professional public servants - such as solicitors, accountants etc - have been banned by this government from travelling first class, when the reason for doing so was exactly what you describe. My point is that if you make a rule it isn't just for everyone else - you too should abide by it.

Incidentally on the Shrewsbury to London Euston route you rarely, if ever, get cheaper than standard, first class tickets, as there is zero competition.

So, I actually agree with you, but the government has waged a media war on public servants, painting them as universally inept and stupid, purely to support their attack on the public sector terms and conditions.

It is appalling and hypercritical when you see MPs assuming they are the exception to the rules that they have made - under the austerity banner.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 18:47:42

oddboots but he didn't pay it himself he claimed it.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 18:49:23

princesschina because they don't allow others in identical circa do the same - thy is why.

This isn't about whether it is reasonable, it is about the hypocrisy of it.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 18:50:10

Eek circs and that

Sorry

RTchoke Sat 27-Oct-12 18:54:57

Oliver - they banned high grade public servants AFTER IPSA said on the whole MPs couldn't travel first class (except when early booking is cheaper). It was ridiculous to have civil servants with better T&Cs than MPs. In both cases it's ridiculous to insist on Standard.

Also MPs have to commute at least weekly to their constituencies plus travel to conferences, on parliamentary visits etc. Their job requires more travel than almost any other public service job I can think of. That's a lot is wasted working time in Standard.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 19:03:45

But RTchoke - that's just not true, many highly graded public servants travel multiple times per week, MPs are far from unique in that respect.

And in this specific case he is highly unlikely to have been able travel in first class cheaper than standard.

RTchoke Sat 27-Oct-12 19:10:02

MPs with constituencies a significant distance from London are pretty unique in HAVING to live far from their main place of work and also having meetings back near their home during the working week.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 19:12:35

No, many public servants have staff and/or meetings in London and in other locations near and far from their home on a weekly basis.

Sorry, but you are wrong, in this respect MPs are not unique

RTchoke Sat 27-Oct-12 19:20:47

Oliver - who? Name the many public servant jobs that involve several weekly commutes across the country as a matter of course.

Anyway, I'm not really arguing with your main point which is that professionals with regular commutes should be able to travel first class to aide their work. I totally agree and I do think the gov should reverse the ban, although after the public reaction to MP's expenses, and the subsequent diminution in MP's rightsand I can see why they made the bad decision they did.

madwomanintheattic Sat 27-Oct-12 19:22:52

I am wholly supportive of first class travel (paid for as an expense) for anyone who needs to work and be able to concentrate during frequent and lengthy journeys.

The idea of anyone being able to satisfactorily work (especially on public matters) on the overcrowded and poorly funded public rail network in standard is frankly laughable.

I have no idea where you live op, but any time I've fetched in and out of London with work to do, it's impossible unless you fork out for first. I have no issues with taxpayers funding it for public servants. It's only fair if we expect them to actually work.

If you are happy that they waste hours in standard, rather than actually doing their job, then I suspect you are just whining for the sake of it.

madwomanintheattic Sat 27-Oct-12 19:24:14

<and completely agree that anyone should be able to travel in first in those circs, not just mps>

madwomanintheattic Sat 27-Oct-12 19:25:39

<and the reason they stopped it was because of all the whining - Slow hand clap indeed. The solution isn't to stop the mps as well, it's to let all public servants do it as a matter of course if circumstances dictate>

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 19:26:13

RTchoke - what? You want names...?

Basically the majority of senior civil servants and a large number of others who work in areas that require cross discipline engagement.

What is your experience to be able to assert that I am wrong?

EdgarAllanPond Sat 27-Oct-12 19:29:20

i think that if a relatively highly paid individual for any company really will use their time in transit to do work - then first-class travel is worth the company or public body paying for to make best use of their time.

working in rammed commuter trains otherwise is very hard.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 27-Oct-12 20:22:24

I agree madwoman - sadly we don't have sensible decision making we have knee jerk before a media frenzy instigated by this government to support their devisive policies.

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