Just Keeps Getting Better, Eh?

Documents show that Paul Cottingham was given secretarial allowances worth £8,143 a month to administer in 2002. This was the maximum allowance available at the time. Euro-MPs can now receive an allowance for staff of £160,000 a year.

Mr Cashman says that he currently pays his civil partner an annual salary of £30,000 inclusive of expenses. However, he has so far not disclosed how the rest of the allowance is distributed after being given to Mr Cottingham. It is known he employs at least one other Brussels-based assistant.

To be fair here, there\’s a slight undercurrent as well: somehow the implication is left dangling that employing his "civil partner" is in some way different or worse than employing "wife" or "husband".

And whatever the precise relationship, if they\’re doing the work then it\’s difficult to see too much wrong with it. It\’s if they\’re not that the problems start…

6 thoughts on “Just Keeps Getting Better, Eh?”

  1. Perhaps Tim is a feminist after all…

    On a more serious note, there is the usual journalistic howler that would cause you to fail physics O-Level: making your units inconsistent in order to bamboozle.

    £8,143 a month is just under £100k p.a.

    Whilst there is still a 60% increase here, it’s not the twenty-fold difference that the raw numbers suggest.

    Rule 1: when units change, someone’s hiding something.

  2. “if they’re doing the work then it’s difficult to see too much wrong with it.”

    Apart from the whole issue of paying above market rates and choosing the best person for the job by advertising it on your own fridge.

    “Assistant wanted. Salary, as much as we can squeeze out. Requirements, the winning candidate will be someone on my family tree.”

  3. The last time this sort of thing flared up in the press in Germany “doing the work” had something to do with holding hands while walking naked together on the beach. Interesting here was that the “work” that was being done was, at the same time, being outsourced away from the family (aka the wife)

    As a side note; does anyone know if there is a hottish young female member of the European Parliament for whom I could, as it were, “do the work”?????

  4. “if they’re doing the work then it’s difficult to see too much wrong with it.”

    … except that, possibly at some distant remove, it’s taxpayers’ money they’re spending. Mr Potarto’s comments above are relevant.

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