Friday, 23 October 2009

Perceptions Financial Adviser 19th June 2008

Stefanie Ives article on the above prompted me to muse on the relative merits of say a CII survey on the “professional standards” of MP’s, conducted amongst IFA’s, or even the electorate and I wonder how interesting the percentage results on this survey would read?

It’s worth considering some relative facts about MP’s not least the size of the MP population, 646 “right honourable members” compared to the relative size of the IFA population in the UK of several thousands.

MP’s are contractually bound to a 37 ½ hour week. However the House of Commons only “sat” for a total of 21 weeks in 2007 and incidentally have only ever worked on four Saturdays since 1939! They get an 11 week paid summer holiday so in total they received taxpayer funded pay for 20 weeks in 2007 for doing exactly what?

So what exactly do MP’s do for their money in an era where over 60% of new legislation originates in Brussels not Westminster?

MP’s were first salaried in 1911 earning £400 p.a. and this has risen to £61,820 p.a. (Cabinet members earn £138,724 p.a. and the PM £189,994 p.a.) that pay increase is a staggering 15,355% in 96 years, that’s an average pay increase of 160% p.a. (all voted for by themselves co-incidentally) they enjoy a 1/40 Defined Benefit pension scheme with a 10% employee contribution rate (that’s 6% net cost to them) with the tax payer funding any potential “deficit” on any liabilities the scheme may have. AND they can also claim up to the following maximums for ALL of the following:

Additional Cost Allowance £22,110 per.a.

Incidental Expenses Provision £20,440 per.a.

Staffing Allowance (keep it in the family) £87,276 per.a.

40p per mile car use up to 10,000 miles 25p per mile there after

Other travel expenses such as, flights and taxi fares

And even 20p per mile for using a bicycle! (Does Mr. Cameron claim this? I think we should be told!)

They can even claim up to £35,905 “winding up allowance” for……wait for it…….getting sacked by the electorate for not doing what they promised they would do, to get elected in the first place!

A former PM can borrow in excess of 200% LTV on his home to fund the beginnings of a multi million pound property portfolio, and somehow have….errrr…..“shredded by mistake” the evidence of allowances and expenses claimed….….and “that’s all right then” as far as HMRC, National Audit Office and the Parliamentary Committee for Standards are concerned……they can hold countless numbers of “outside interests” such as board membership of major corporations, and still claim they are free from “undue influence” or will not “lobby” on behalf of said companies (it was called “moonlighting” in my day) can charge fees for appearances and public speaking or writing memoirs, never ever give a straight answer to even the simplest of questions, resolutely fail to take responsibility for their actions even where they have the direst of consequences (unlike an IFA) and then have the temerity to question the integrity and remuneration structure of countless thousands of hard working professional IFA’s in this country.

Well I’ve decided its time for a career change………whose going to give me their vote?

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