Members of Parliament in Westminster are afforded a generous expenses package on top of their £81,932 yearly salary. These are meant to cover costs involved with representing their constituents. Travel, rent and staffing claims are the most common, but it appears some less essential items are also being claimed
In the current tax year to date, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who also receives an extra £34,000 as a Minister of State, claimed a total of £942.99 for Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions. These are not only local newspapers which could be justified, but also The Times, Telegraph and Spectator Magazine.
Now, it could be argued that the Health Secretary could subscribe to important medical publications so as to keep abreast of the latest health and social care news, but The Telegraph, Times and Spectator are not necessarily essential to his job.
Furthermore, it is important to note that, The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) themselves have a Times and Telegraph subscription which Mr Hancock would have access to.
The Health Secretary is not alone in this practice with numerous MPs using tax payer money to pay for a subscription that is not essential to their job.
It also highlights the ivory tower many MPs live in. While they’re voting to NOT extend Free School Meals for the most vulnerable children in England, they are enjoying premium content at our expense.
Also, Matt Hancock‘s subscription to The Spectator Magazine is frankly worrying. The publication frequently publish racist or Islamophobic content, and they currently allow those who want to let elderly disabled people die from COVID-19 at platform. Now they’ll claim that it’s because these “writers” have been cancelled by the Liberal Media. However, it could just be that being a racist isn’t an attribute editors are keen on. Then again…
Regardless, how the Health Secretary thinks this is a valuable business expense, is beyond belief.
The rules around MPs expenses may have been tightened following the 2009 Parliamentary Expenses Scandal, but clearly they haven’t gone far enough.
The problem with getting change, is that you’re asking MPs to give up their luxuries. They already get subsidised food and drink in the Houses of Parliament, free travel and their rent paid, barring a TV licence, is much more really necessary?
It’s disturbing that nurses battling a pandemic struggle to get free parking, while MPs can claim for newspaper subscriptions.
Universal Credit Claimants struggle to afford their next meal, yet MPs are fine dining at our expense in Parliament while refusing to keep the £20 uplift.
So while your MP might not be funding their duck pond at your expense anymore, it’s quite possible they’re funding media barons with your tax money.
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