Quite so Mr Flynn, this should happen

Parliamentary expenses should be scrapped and MPs trusted with an allowance because the current procedure is a time consuming “unnecessary chore”, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior allies has said.

Paul Flynn, the shadow leader of the House of Commons, who responds for Labour on expenses, said that the parliamentary watchdog was a “bureaucratic ornament” which should be scrapped and MPs sent automatic payments without having to submit expense claims.

Because we should be able to expect those who rule us not to take the piss.

However, given past experience about the sort of scumbag maggots who actually get elected, this doesn’t work, does it?

36 thoughts on “Quite so Mr Flynn, this should happen”

  1. “He … warned that MPs “resent” having to submit expenses claims because it takes too much time.”

    The people who pay his expenses feel the same way about HMRC tax forms, I bet…

  2. JuliaM, yes, the bearded arsehole said: ‘IPSA robs MPs and our staff of much of their most precious possession – time.’

    In just the same way as the government in all its guises, bearded or not, makes everybody contribute their time, gratis, to such activities as filling in VAT returns, trying to understanding the annual changes in the rules for Self Assessment, sorting their ‘recyclables’ into different bins (which ultimately are all tipped into landfill), etc., etc.

    Our time is worthless, you must understand, while his is valuable. Speaks volumes about his attitude and his colossal sense of entitlement. And this guy is Labour’s official spokesman on policy vis a vis MPs’ expenses.

  3. Responding to Flynn’s comments, the Lib Dem’s Tom Brake said: “With this kind of cloudy thinking on political transparency we would call for Paul Flynn to resign from the shadow cabinet but that’s not as big a thing as it used to be.”

    Ahahaha, that’s comedy gold.

  4. Here’s an idea. As part of Steptoe’s ‘digital democracy’. All requests for expenses, allowances, ‘fact finding’ jollies etc from HMG, parliamentary parties and councils should be published online and the taxpayer can give it the thumbs up, or thumbs down over a two week period.
    How could any democrat or socialist object?

  5. I think a per diem payment is a good idea, actually. Much better than reimbursable expenses. But let’s set it so it is sufficient for a room in the Ibis Budget (inc. breakfast) with £15 allocation for lunch and £20 for dinner and £5 for wifi.

  6. Here’s a new one. Why not provide secretarial support in the HoC and not provide a penny of expenses.
    If they have an official reason to need something they requisition it from the admin team and everything else they pay for at normal market prices.
    Fact finding trip to Barbados? Yes mate pay for it yourself. If its important then its worth it.
    If its official get the RAF to take you across.

    Be easy enough for a block of flats to be secured and maintained including security in order to deal with MPs who do not live locally having somewhere to stay. And a regular shuttle bus running every hour to that accommodation from parliament.

  7. Agree with Tim N, political representatives having to cock around with IPSA – by all accounts a bureaucratic and fiddly pain in the arse – is ultimately a total waste of their time and our money. If things were simple then I’d suggest to just scrap the expenses system altogether and give MPs a pay rise to make up for it if we are feeling generous, but that doesn’t really work as MPs from different parts of the country naturally have higher costs of doing parliamentary business. Flynn is suggesting an allowance – in effect equivalent to a compensatory pay rise – that takes distance from Westminster into account, which seems fair enough to me.

    One argument in favour of IPSA is that it subjects MPs to inhuman and inhumane bureaucracy on a regular basis and is probably our one chance to show them how benefits recipients or small businesspeople or any other number of people feel when they have to interface with the machinery of the state. But I can’t see that this has encouraged MPs to be any keener to reduce bureaucracy imposed on us all, so as a voter the best motivation for retaining it appears to be “revenge”. And the second best that “while they’re faffing around with expense forms we have stopped them doing anything more dangerous”. Overall though I’d rather they do something more productive with their time.

  8. Martin – I’d like that, I think Sweden has an accommodation block for MPs – but realistically still need to allow something for travel, particularly for the furthest flung MPs.

  9. +1 Martin. It’s a nonsense that MPs’ staff are billed as the MP’s expenses, so giving rise to stories about MPs having £100,000 expenses – shock horror, four office staff! MPs’ staff should be employed by and billed as Parliamentary expenses.

  10. “JuliaM, yes, the bearded arsehole said: ‘IPSA robs MPs and our staff of much of their most precious possession – time.’”

    Which they then squander fuckng about doing stupid political stunts.

  11. S Evil: Travel warrants

    Doesn’t / didn’t that already exist? I seem to remember that David Blunkett had to resign for wangling a railway warrant for his then mistress against whom he subsequently had a paternity dispute. Such a nice chap.

  12. They are not trustworthy and, like the criminals they are, they will abuse whatever system exists.

    The more time they waste on forms and bullshit the less time they have to fuck up our lives.

    So the system we have stays and should be made more difficult for the CSMF SOS.

  13. Every other bugger in the country has to deal with expenses and its not that complex, unless you’re up to funny business. A few times in my career I’ve worked in a different city than I was living in and so had a flat etc on expenses for 18 months or so – its really really not that hard or time consuming.

    I get quite fed up with special pleading by MPs on this – suck it up and do what everyone else has to do!

  14. Do normal workers not have to pay to travel to work? Do normal workers who live away from place they work in not need to pay to travel?
    How many times a week will the MP for Inverness be travelling to London? May be better to ask how many times a year they will be travelling to Inverness!

  15. Let them suffer the exact same expense rules as the rest of us. That will align their incentives with ours.

  16. The biggest problem with MP expenses is that it is claimed from Parliament. The costs for MPs should come from constituencies, spending records published on an annual basis and at election time candidates can say how much they will cost us.

  17. Also, per diem payments are normally used by large companies for trips taken regularly to known, stable destinations. So if I travel between Paris and Pau, for example, there is a set amount reimbursable for the hotel and food because the approximate costs are known in advance. But if I were travelling to Lagos, the reimbursement would be on provision of receipts because the costs fluctuate wildly and the market is not as well known.

    Given the constituency locations are known, and London is well known, it should therefore be a matter of no more than a month at most to come up with a table of set expenses for travel from each constituency to London and back again, and to have set expenses for a hotel and food.

    Any normal company with this much London travel would have put in place a per diem system like this. The reason the government hasn’t done it is because MPs like to take the piss, as we have seen repeatedly. They’d fight any change tooth and nail because they do so very well out of the current setup.

  18. the second best that “while they’re faffing around with expense forms we have stopped them doing anything more dangerous”.

    This. It should be made more complicated / less beneficial for them, not less. I’ll happily volunteer to design a “better” system for them.

    Or, perhaps as Andrew M suggests, simply use the same rules as the rest of us.

    Overall though I’d rather they do something more productive with their time.

    What, lIke get a proper job?

  19. Why don’t we do what I believe they do in the US – pay them more but they have to pick up their own expenses?
    Oh, and make them fill in their own tax returns too.

  20. Flynn wants to abolish any oversight of his expenses because, in his own words, the process of claiming them has grown from a 30 minute process to a two hour one per month.

    Fuck off.

  21. Perhaps the MPs should have to claim their expenses through the same agency that their constituents claim their welfare benefits?

  22. What Andy H and Andrew M said.

    Let them put up with what the rest of us put up with.

    If they don’t like it, mind the door doesn’t hit your arse on the way out.

    End of.

  23. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I get quite fed up with special pleading by MPs on this – suck it up and do what everyone else has to”

    Indeed. They knew exactly what the job entailed when the applied.

  24. Mr. Ecks. CSMF SOS?

    I’m guessing something like Cultural Sodding Marxist Fuckers, but I’m stumped at the SOS. Any chance you could enlighten me please?

  25. I’m thinking along the lines of scum, shite, satan, amongst others? And I can think of something else for CS that might fit the particular context – and MF.

    Ecks, we need you to adjudicate.

  26. I did automatically think “Cock Sucking Mother Fuckers” but I thought to myself that that’s not Ecsy’s style. Knowing him, I thought, he’ll be meaning Cultural Marxist what-have-you’s!

    I thought that SOS could be “Shite on Stilts” or something of that nature, but it could quite as easily refer to scum of the state.

    Personally, I’m surprised that we’ve got this far through a one-rule-for-them type story without anyone mentioning hemp rope and lamp posts.

    Still, I’m going to kick back with a cool G&T, relatively safe in the knowledge that these utter fuckwits are so far from office that Flynn can say anything he likes. It’s not like they’ll ever get into power.

    Chin-Chin all.

  27. The man is also an irony free zone. He claims expenses for am astonishing 8 members of staff, including naturally his wife as Senior secretary (the advantage of Wales is you can employ a lot of your mates for the short 200 grand we give you in play money.) Now I am sure that somewhere in that ,what, 1000 hours of employment per month that someone has got a spare couple to do poor Paul’s expenses?

  28. Sorry to disappoint the more esoteric interpreters but CSMF SOS is plain old “cock sucking mother-fucking sacks of shit.” in short compass.

  29. When I was a local councillor I got a bus pass. My secretary was a council employee, employed by the council, paid for by the council. Any out-of-town travel was booked by the committee secretariate, they bought the train ticket and supplied it to you and told you which train to use.

    MPs have got themselves into this mess because all their work-related costs and expenses are billed as the MPs personal costs and expenses. So, a modest MP’s office with two full-time staff is listed and billed as the MP him/herself having personal costs/expenses of £30-£40 grand, and the MP for Inverness is listed as having personal expenses of thousands of pounds of travel expenses.

    All these MPs’ costs and expenese should be shifted over to Parliament. An MP’s staff should be employed by and paid for by Parliament, not by the MP. Travel should be provided for and paid for by Parliament, not by the MP. London accommodation should be provided by and paid for by Parliament, not by the MP.

    Yes, it’s reasonable to pay for second accommodation and travel to work for out-of-London MPs. I consider them to be in the same position as oil rig workers. You wouldn’t tell a rigger to pay for the chopper flight out to the rig, and then pay rent to live on the rig.

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