As the Cuts Bite……
In these times of austerity, it is morally wrong that Members of Parliament are receiving a pay rise of 10%. The basic annual salary for an MP from 1 April 2013 is £66,396. MPs also receive expenses, which can be well in excess of £100,000, to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.
Many hard working people in this country have not received any pay rise for the last few years, whilst the employed and unemployed poor in this country have seen a rise to their minimum household budgets of 25%.
Losing your job these days can easily result in a very quick slide into homelessness, as Housing Benefit in many parts of the country will not cover the rent, even for a short period.
Disabled people who had grants for adaptations to their rented homes less than 5 years ago, now face the choice of staying and paying for an extra room, or paying back the grant.
Those, who have found themselves without funds have turned to Food Banks for temporary support. In 2012-13 food banks fed 346,992 people nationwide. Of those helped, 126,889 were children.
Three new food banks are opening every week to help meet demand, with one organization launching 345 UK food banks in partnership with churches and communities to date
The sick and disabled have seen dramatic cuts in their Social Security benefits. Thousands of these sick and disabled people have suffered hardship for long periods of time while appealing decisions to cut or stop their Social Security benefits.
Legal Aid, which was available to help prepare these appeals, has been all but removed , resulting in additional people turning for help to Voluntary Agencies, who, themselves have faced cuts and are stretched to breaking point.
Councils have already faced cuts from 16% -33%. In George Osborne’s latest spending review it was announced that local councils will be hit hardest, facing additional cuts of 10% on top of the cuts they have faced already.
So while the rest of just pull in our belts, MP’s are yet once again at odds with most of the rest of the country
Nick Clegg has already said he will give his pay rise back but as IPSA is an independent body, I am led to understand that MPs would be powerless to stop it unless Parliament rush through emergency legislation.
As we saw earlier this year, in order not to pay wrongly sanctioned jobseekers £130m, The Government rushed through retrospective emergency legislation, after it lost a case at the Court of Appeal. It was rushed through the House of Commons in 6days, including the weekend.
We were told that we are “all in this together”, as one country we would fight our way out of recession
At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2012 George Osborne reiterated his statement that ‘we’re all in this together’.
By accepting any pay rise at this time, The Members of The British Parliament are showing us that we are definitely not “all in this together”