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Petition Tag - absenteeism
Swimming pools. Helicopter pads. Moats. Duck Houses.
These are just some of the extraordinary claims filed by MPs who – believing they are underpaid – have deliberately 'boosted' their income through expenses and allowances. Some MPs have used the system to build a mini-property empire. Others have made big profits when they have sold homes bought with taxpayers money.
The scandal has exposed just how rotten the system has become, and how out of touch our MPs are.
Many politicians employ members of their family on top salaries at taxpayers' expense. And an amazing number have second jobs or are directors of companies. We pay MPs a generous salary, and being a politician is a major responsibility – MPs have to make the nation's laws AND fight for their constituents' interests. It's a full-time job. It should be the MPs ONLY job.
Any job which pays at this rate in the public or private sector usually comes with 'performance targets'. Yet many MPs either rarely turn up to vote, or are rarely in their constituencies – or both. As their employers, we should demand MPs do their job properly – and we should be able to monitor how well they are doing it.
MPs currently vote their own wage increases through, and agree their own rules on what and how much they can claim on expenses and allowances. That needs to change. As does the whole system of how MPs work, and how they are answerable to us.
We need new rules. And we need them now.