Why not just give them quarters?

Yet more bad news about MPs housing allowances!

I completely understand that MPs need to have a base in or near their constituencies and many also need a place in or near central London. Politicians do work funny hours and a regular commute isn’t always feasible. But why are they expected to find their own accommodation?

Members of the armed forces get moved around the world on a fairly regular basis. An army officer could be based on Germany for a few years, then across to Tidworth (Hampshire) for a bit, up to Glasgow, a stint in London at the MOD, back to Germany etc. It is regarded as part of the job. Single soldiers live in barracks and married soldiers live in married quarters. The Army understands that the job means geographic displacement and acts accordingly.

If it’s Good enough for our brave boys it should be good enough for our MPs.

I think that parliament should buy up a number of flats near to central London, 500 should do the trick. There are developments going up in Chelsea, Battersea, etc which most people would give their right arm for. They can be of mixed size to cover everything from single MPs to those who want to base their family in London, the block could have centralised security and be fitted with a secure IT and comms system.

MPs will be allocated a flat when they get voted in and hand it back when they get voted out. Easy.

It might be a bitter financial pill to swallow in the short term but would clean up the system and help to restore confidence in the financial integrity of our MPs.

11 responses to “Why not just give them quarters?

  1. Or they could sort themselves out from their already healthy salaries like police officers, nurses, fire fighters and sundry other workers who do far less sociable hours than our greedy money-grubbing Man In Whitehall Knows Best nannies do.I think we could manage quite well with 64 rather than 646 MPs.

  2. James, I think you’re onto something here. It’s something I’ve been thinking recently too. Uni students have halls and as you say the army etc have barracks. Why shouldn’t we just provide a housing complex for MPs and cut out all this expenses stuff..?I think there might even be cross party support for this idea.

  3. James, I think you’re onto something here. It’s something I’ve been thinking recently too. Uni students have halls and as you say the army etc have barracks. Why shouldn’t we just provide a housing complex for MPs and cut out all this expenses stuff..?I think there might even be cross party support for this idea.

  4. In addition, we should re-evaluate who gets this perk. Over the last 10-15 years the commutable distance for “normal” people has increased as the demand for jobs is squeezed. I know many senior managers (who work very long days & often have meetings at un socialble hours) who commute from Cambridge, Peterborough, Bath etc. The current rules were written when travel was difficult, and the MPs privaleged & respected. We now see them as “not so equals”, and have little respect, so they should suffer like the rest of us!

  5. In addition, we should re-evaluate who gets this perk. Over the last 10-15 years the commutable distance for “normal” people has increased as the demand for jobs is squeezed. I know many senior managers (who work very long days & often have meetings at un socialble hours) who commute from Cambridge, Peterborough, Bath etc. The current rules were written when travel was difficult, and the MPs privaleged & respected. We now see them as “not so equals”, and have little respect, so they should suffer like the rest of us!

  6. James,Have you been reading my blog? I suggested this last week< HREF="http://barneteye.blogspot.com/2009/03/your-local-mp-value-for-money.html" REL="nofollow">MP’s expenses<>

  7. James,Have you been reading my blog? I suggested this last week< HREF="http://barneteye.blogspot.com/2009/03/your-local-mp-value-for-money.html" REL="nofollow">MP’s expenses<>

  8. I'm a contractor in a sqeazed profession (lots of South Africans, Kiwi's & Ozzies are qualified in the same business) When I go for a job, I pitch my daily rate at a level I think will be competitive, and reflects how much I want the job.I think at the selection process MPs should do the same. Put out their policies, and also, how much they are prepared to do the job for (included the T&C's of the pension).For example, I live in london so; my bid would beSalary £75,000No housing costsOne researcher salary £40,000, and will not be a member of my family.All expenses will be receipted and “resonable” (I have worked in industry so I know what is acceptable in the real world Express Inn accomodation etc.)£10,000 office expenses (averything, IT, Webs sitres, stationary, postage etc)PLUS I'll delay taking my pension until I'm 55, not the day I leave parliment as is currently allowed.Any takers?

  9. I'm a contractor in a sqeazed profession (lots of South Africans, Kiwi's & Ozzies are qualified in the same business) When I go for a job, I pitch my daily rate at a level I think will be competitive, and reflects how much I want the job.I think at the selection process MPs should do the same. Put out their policies, and also, how much they are prepared to do the job for (included the T&C's of the pension).For example, I live in london so; my bid would beSalary £75,000No housing costsOne researcher salary £40,000, and will not be a member of my family.All expenses will be receipted and “resonable” (I have worked in industry so I know what is acceptable in the real world Express Inn accomodation etc.)£10,000 office expenses (averything, IT, Webs sitres, stationary, postage etc)PLUS I'll delay taking my pension until I'm 55, not the day I leave parliment as is currently allowed.Any takers?

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