UPDATE : Curly points out that taxing a Nissan Micra will cost £40 more!
By popular request, watch Blinky’s face:
There is no reason why this should not be abolished and a more honest and transparent picture of the compensation package of MPs given to the public. At the very least Alistair Darling should announce today that it will be taxed in the normal way as a benefit. Guido does not see why MPs should be treated differently from other self-employed business people who have to account for every penny to the revenue commissioners.
*Guido is guesstimating, we do not know the details of the payment system and the authorities are resisting FoI requests.
“The Tories are isolated in Europe. Their position is the biggest foreign policy failure since the 1930s.”
So the Tory plan to pull out of the EPP factional grouping arrangements is worse than Suez, Vietnam or the Iraq War? This is the view of the Miliband’s personal Special Adviser? Obviously Madlin has a deep sense of historical perspective…
You can download the full briefing here, Guido has digitally disguised the source of the leak because it has a warning on every page stating:
PLP briefings are the property of the Labour party. They are confidential and are for the use of registered members only. Any publishing or dissemination of PLP political briefing is prohibited and may be unlawful.
With New Labour’s characteristic inability to distinguish between party and state they seem to fail to realise that a document produced by a civil servant, in office hours at the taxpayer’s expense should by rights not be the property of the Labour Party. So sue Guido…
*Madlin is the daughter of Blairite MP Barry Sheerman. Another no doubt meritocratic appointment from the people’s party.
UPDATE : Guido accepts that there is a loophole provision in the Code permitting SpAds to produce briefings for MPs on government policy. This is not a briefing on government policy, it is a crib sheet on Tory policy and positions intended to be used to attack the Conservative position in media interviews and in the chamber. This breaches the spirit and the letter of the Code. There is in any case no way a taxpayer funded document produced by civil servants can become the exclusive property of the PLP. These type of briefing documents should be produced by Labour HQ at their own expense, not the taxpayers expense. If the PLP would care to test this proposition in court Guido is more than ready.
Here is the news you won’t read in the papers or hear from broadcast by our fearless Lobby lushes:-
The total subsidy paid by the taxpayer to the press gallery bar and restaurant last year was £201,100. They drink at the taxpayers expense to the tune of a £1,000 every working day. They really are taking the piss getting pissed at the public’s expense.
Perhaps he has good reason to explain Tory economic policy out of sight, being too timid to put the case for tax relief for the struggling middle classes and reducing state over-spending. The Tories basically accept that because of the dire fiscal position Chancellor Osborne will stick with Gordon Brown’s tax and spending plans. As we tip towards worldwide recession and a global financial crisis the Tories are advocating “tax hikes on alcopops!” and the LibDems “tax cuts for smoothies!” Pathetically unambitious.