What an image:
What an image:
The sinister sounding European Development Fund is the EU’s aid arm, splurging €22.7 billion a year on “aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries”. Or so they claim.
Analysis by the Taxpayers’ Alliance reveals that the fund approved three “grants” of €198,464, €86,860 and €45,873 to that deeply deprived third world country… Belgium.
What’s more, the three Belgian aid projects, totalling almost a quarter of a million Euros, are categorised as “confidential”. The fund refuses to disclose any further information about what the money was spent on.
It’s all a bit Sepp Blatter…
Political books don’t often sell that well: the latest book charts show that this year Alex Salmond flogged 12,815 copies of his memoir, while Polly Toynbee clocked up 11,178 for her rantings, which will keep her in Prosecco for a while yet even if she has had to sell the villa in Umbria. Top of the pops for political populism this year by a long way is Owen Jones, who has sold a whacking 143,212 copies of The Establishment. His ever readiness to do media appearances has effectively been a fantastic marketing campaign for the book…
Let’s not forget Owen wisely dumped his small not-for-profit lefty independent publisher last year, in favour of a more lucrative deal with the multi-billion pound trans-national corporation that is Random Penguin House. Workers unite!
Guido has been doing the numbers* and everyone’s favourite anti-poverty campaigner has generated £1,347,114 in book sales (not including digital ebook sales). Any author worth their salt can typically negotiate 30% royalties. Given Owen had already got a hit book under his belt he would have been a fool not to have negotiated more, at least 35%. Meaning he will likely have earnt from The Establishment this year royalties in the region of £471,489, on top of his £40,000 salary at The Guardian. A cool half-a-million quid in the last 12 months…
According to the IFS to be in the top percentile of earners in the UK you have to earn a mere £88,000, so he is sitting comfortably way above the entry level for the 1%. When Owen was at the Indy earning a £20,000 pittance his view was that “MPs’ high pay makes them more distant from those they exist to serve. Their pay should be slashed”. Owen now earns far more than the Prime Minister, no wonder he tells everyone he doesn’t want to be an MP, he couldn’t take the pay cut…
The circle jerk continues. In another stunning success for the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Shower, invited guest Michael Palin coughed live on air that BBC director of Television Danny Cohen had personally called up the celebrities that signed the ‘independent’ letter to the Telegraph that argued against a single cut to the BBC. The BBC Press Office told the Times yesterday that Aunty did not have “anything to do” with the letter:
If they’re already spraying licence fee payer resources up the wall and ‘misspeaking’, before the Charter Review details have even be revealed, they’re going to be unbearable for the next 18 months…
IPSA has revealed the roll call of shame of MPs who begged for more cash in the pay rise consultation. Only four had the balls to go on the record:
“I know I speak for the silent majority (who are not millionaires) to say this increase is well overdue… I hope common sense will prevail and this pay rise will be honoured.” Tobias Ellwood MP
“I am supporting IPSA’s recommendations as they have been done independently of Members.” Keith Vaz MP
“IPSA… must work totally free from government influence.” Mark Field MP
“In my view IPSA was established precisely to take away the responsibility of this sort of decision from the hands of MPs… MPs were traditionally unpaid. And parliament predicted when salaries were introduced that it would be a source of continual public disappointment and anger, as it has been… My fundamental conclusion is that an independent body such as IPSA is now and should be in the future the appropriate body to make recommendations – not MPs themselves. I believe IPSA has conducted serious research and comparisons. I believe they are in a better position than MPs to be objective. I would accept their recommendation.” Rory Stewart MP
At least they had the nerve to stick their necks out, unlike the silent majority who quietly accepted the rise…
“MPs’ pay will rise to £74,000 as part of a package of changes to their remuneration,” IPSA confirm this morning: “The pay rise will be backdated to 8 May 2015”.
The expenses watchdog are spinning that this is a good deal for the taxpayer because the new rules mean MPs “can no longer claim for the costs of hospitality, evening meals, taxis home from Westminster when working late”, and the scandal of resettlement payments has been ended. That hardly makes up for the public sector pay cap-busting 10% hike.
Here is IPSA chief Ian Kennedy:
“Parliament gave IPSA the power to deal with the vexed issue of MPs’ pay – independent of Parliament and Government. Pay has been an issue which has been ducked for decades, with independent reports and recommendations from experts ignored, and MPs’ salaries supplemented by an opaque and discredited system of allowances.
“We have made the necessary break with the past. We have created a new and transparent scheme of business costs and expenses, introduced a less generous pension scheme, where taxpayers contribute less and MPs make a higher contribution, and scrapped large resettlement payments. We have consulted extensively on MPs’ pay, and with today’s decision we have put in place the final element of the package for the new Parliament.
“In making this decision we are very aware of the strongly held views of many members of the public and by some MPs themselves. We have listened to those views. We have made an important change to the way in which pay will be adjusted annually. Instead of linking MPs’ pay to wages in the whole economy, it will be linked to public sector pay.
“Over the last Parliament, MPs’ pay increased by 2%, compared to 5% in the public sector and 10% in the whole economy. It is right that we make this one-off increase and then formally link MPs’ pay to public sector pay.”
Celebratory subsidised drinks on the terrace later?
Some surprise names on the list of celebs who have written in the Telegraph today calling on everyone to “leave the BBC alone”.
Why would they bite the hand that feeds them?
Other shock signatories include:
Almost as if they’re worried about bumper Beeb salaries being in the firing line…
Counting pensions as an old age ‘benefit’ has provided lefties with data-based ammunition against small state conservatives who want to slash the welfare bill. Looking at the graph below, targeting proportionally tiny housing benefits or tax credits looks futile – […]