Guilty Men: MPs Who Backed Pay Rise Named and Shamed

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…

Confirmed: Troughing MPs Will Land Bumper Pay 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?

BBC Licence Fee Lobbying Circle Jerk

With impeccable timing, every MP has received a DVD and slurpy letter from the BBC’s lobbying wing.

Ostentatiously designed to show MPs the quality of recent BBC work, it’s no coincidence that the targeted lobbying campaign has taken place in the same week that Whittingdale launches his BBC Charter Review Green Paper.

The BBC really don’t help their cause sometimes.

Using licence fee payers’ cash to lobby MPs not to cut the licence fee because – as they claim – there is no room for cuts in the corporation.

Here is an easy rump saving: say goodbye to the ‘Head of Corperate Affairs’. And his entire lobbying team…

Roll Call of Luvvies: BBC Turkeys Protest Christmas

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:

  • Claudia Winkelman (Strictly)
  • Adil Ray (Citizen Khan)
  • Jamie Oliver (BBC made him)
  • Prof Brian Cox (Ubiquitous across the corporation)
  • Nick Grimshaw (Radio 1)
  • Trevor Nelson (Radio 2)
  • Reggie Yates (various youth shows)
  • Clara Amfo (Radio 1)
  • Annie Nightingale (Radio 1)
  • Michael Palin (BBC documentaries)
  • David Attenborough (ditto)

Almost as if they’re worried about bumper Beeb salaries being in the firing line…

BBC Spins For its Life

The BBC’s war on waste continues with an expensive cinematic advert that is never off our screens at the moment. It is being dutifully tweeted out by all of the Beeb’s top names:

The BBC say the expensive production was commissioned to “celebrate the unique role that the BBC plays in all of our lives”:

“For waking us up, and getting us going. For making us laugh, and making us cry. For expanding our minds, and broadening our horizons. For standing us on the shoulders of giants, for taking us to new worlds. For all our hopes, and our dreams. For not just watching, but living too. For all the days of our lives and all the moments we share. For all of us.”

Guido would FoI how much licence fee payers’ money was spent on this waffle, but transparency isn’t Auntie’s strong point.

Almost as if they are taking advantage of their massive media monopoly to beam propaganda into the nation’s front rooms, ahead of the coming battle for their future…

Meanwhile, in a bid to show that he’s getting it, moany-Tony Hall is re-announcing his cap on resettlement payments. Media Guardian report:

“The BBC has revealed that its bill for redundancy payments fell by 30% to £18m last year as it begins a fightback against Conservative criticisms that it has become wasteful and is squeezing out commercial rivals.

The broadcaster’s annual report, which is published on Tuesday, will argue that a decision by the director general, Tony Hall, to cap severance deals at £150,000 has already resulted in significant savings…”

The BBC-Guardian Axis of Liberals gearing up for counter-attack to defend BBC’s monolithic status quo…

Budget Live: Everything You Need to Know

  • Deficit forecast: 3.7% in 2015/16, 2.2% in 2016/17, 1.2% in 2017/18, 0.3% in 2018/19, SURPLUS 0.4% in 2019/20
  • NHS: £8 billion more a year, on top of previous £2 billion commitment. £10 billion yearly real terms rise.
  • Public sector pay: Pay rises frozen at 1% for four years.
  • Tax avoidance: £750 million for HMRC to go after tax evaders.
  • Non-doms: Abolishing permanent non-dom tax status.
  • Banks: Bank levy reduced, new 8% surcharge on bank profits.
  • Transport: Tax on new cars to go into new roads fund. Fuel duty remains frozen this year.
  • Higher education: Student maintenance grants replaced with loans from 2016-17.
  • Devolution: More devolved powers for Manchester. Devolution for Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds. Oyster cards for the North.
  • Housing: Mortgage tax relief for buy to let landlords restricted to basic rate.
  • Inheritance tax: Threshold increased to £1 million in 2017.
  • Business: Annual Investment Allowance for small and medium sized firms raised to £200,000.
  • Corporation tax: Corporation tax cut to 19% by 2017 and 18% by 2020.
  • Welfare: New youth obligation to earn or learn, no housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.
  • Childcare: Free childcare for 3/4 year olds of up to 30 hours a week.
  • Disability: ESA for new claimants cut by £30 a week.
  • Welfare: working age benefits frozen for four years.
  • Housing: Rents in social housing to be cut by 1% a year for next four years.
  • Tax credits: Threshold at which tax credits withdrawn down from £6420 to £3850
  • Benefit cap: Cut to £23,000 in London and £20,000 elsewhere.
  • Child tax credits: Limited to two children from 2017.
  • Tax: Personal allowance raised to £11,000. Higher rate threshold raised to £43,000.
  • Defence: spending to increase at least in line with inflation every year, commitment to 2% of GDP.
  • Wages: Introducing new compulsory National Living Wage from next April, £9 an hour for over 25s by 2020.

What the Welfare Budget Looks Like Minus Pensions

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 – superficially at least – when 42% of the ‘welfare’ budget is spent on pensions:

You can see why lefties love using this statistic – it grossly skews the welfare bill to make it look like we hardly spend anything on the things their opponents want to cut.

So what does the welfare budget look like if we take pensions out of the equation?

This truer reflection of the welfare budget sees the other slices of the pie double in size.

30% of the non-pensions budget is spent on family benefits, income support and tax credits, some £45 billion.

Housing makes up closer to 20%, £26 billion.

A much clearer illustration of what we spend on welfare than lefties and the ONS would have us believe…

Out-of-the-Loop Chris Bryant Hasn’t a Clue

As Guido revealed in this week’s Sun on Sunday:

“The BBC has announced 1,000 jobs are to go as part of a £150 million round of cuts. These job losses would cover just £50 million of the sum, however, leaving another £100 million awaiting Aunty’s axe.

Guido hears that the BBC’s little-watched 24-hour News Channel is in the firing line, with plans afoot to shift the operation online and stop broadcasting on telly. BBC bosses are waiting until this week’s budget before a final decision.”

A story which caused a certain degree of scepticism from the impeccably dis-connected Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:

That would be our double-sourced drivel from senior BBC sources. 48 hours later, Media Guardian confirms Guido’s Sun exclusive:

“The BBC is considering making its news channel online only following a similar cost-cutting move for its BBC3 TV channel, it has emerged.

Work had already started on assessing the impact of making the news channel online only before the government unveiled a surprise licence fee settlement on Monday… A final decision about the channel has yet to be made.”

As Guido explained, the Beeb has a £100 million spending black hole to fill. Media Guardian reports the News Channel’s overall costs are just over £100 million:

“In the last BBC annual report, it said the channel’s production costs were £26.8m, while its newsgathering costs were £21.2m. In addition, the news channel spent £48.7m on content, £8m on distribution and £9.5m on infrastructure/support in 2013/14 and taking it online only would prove cheaper for the BBC, which is looking to make savings.”

If Chris needs any further help with his brief, he knows where to come…

UPDATE:  The Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Bryant tweets:

EU Blows Cash on Racing Lithuanian Horse, Belarusian Tractor and Latvian Minivan

Guido was perhaps unfairly sceptical about the merits of ‘European Co-Operation Day‘ after watching their taxpayer-funded propaganda ‘rap’. Who can argue with what they spent their budget on previously?

According to their promotional literature, “Highlights from the […]


How Welfare Spending Increased By £28 Billion Under the Coalition

Ahead of tomorrow’s Budget, Guido’s interactive chart shows just how well George Osborne did at cutting welfare spending during the last parliament:

The massively increased spending on pensions makes up most of the overall rise, though it is debatable whether […]


EU’s Taxpayer-Funded Rap, Graffiti and Skateboards Propaganda Video

To mark European Co-operation Day, your EU taxpayers’ money has been spent on this three minute long song serenading the “success” of the European project:

Lyrics include:

“It wasn’t always easy / 

But look at our success



Double Living Wage Hypocrisy Shocker

“Keep the living wage alive,” argues one of many articles published by the Fabian Society calling for a mandatory Living Wage.

It’s a bit of a theme: “a voluntary expansion of living wage employers” is not enough, they say.[…]


Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Lord Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“If they ever got anywhere near electing him and him being the Prime Minister then I think we should all move to China or somewhere like that and let this place just rot.”

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