Ireland Voting to Abolish Second Chamber

ABOLISH-SEANADToday Ireland is voting in a referendum to abolish the Seanad – the second chamber of parliament which costs some €20 million a year to provide a sinecure for recycled politicians who have been kicked out of the properly elected chamber by the voters.  Ireland is weighed down with too many politicians. New Zealand got rid of their second chamber and they carried on just fine…


Watch Teenagers Declare Benefits Bill Should Be Slashed

Here is one that does not fit the usual narrative. Teenagers polled by Newsnight last night collectively agreed to slash the unsustainable benefits bill and use the money to pay down the national debt and increase spending on education and health. Maybe the Tories should not be so worried about votes for sixteen year olds…

Video via Liar Politicians

Tobacco and Arms Dealers Funding Labour Conference

Despite the noise Labour have made recently about the tobacco lobby, they had no qualms taking a wedge from Phillip Morris for a conference stall.

Perhaps Ed could pop down to see his old Political Relations Manager James Barge who left Team Miliband for the Marlboro men.

And don’t forget the arms dealers, for good measure:


At Least Seven Millionaires in the Shadow Cabinet
Thirteen Other Miliband Millionaires Around the Labour Leader

The Sun this morning points out it’s not just the Cabinet that is stuffed with millionaires. Crunching their numbers, there are at least seven in the Shadow Cabinet, and Ed has surrounded himself with another thirteen millionaire advisers or supporters. And of course, as regular Guido readers will know, Ed and Justine are not doing too badly themselves…

The research is based on a comprehensive study by Neo-Guido in this month’s edition of Spectator Life, Guido’s favourite bit concerns Ed’s millionaire spinner:

“When Baldwin is up late plotting new attacks on Tory toffs, he can do so from his £4 million villa overlooking Highbury Fields. Cruel former colleagues in newspaperland still fondly remember Tom loudly declaring after his wedding, ‘I’m on the deeds, I’m on the deeds.’”

So that’s a blow to the Old Etonian attacks and the “cabinet of millionaires” line in one week…

Wonks Take Axe to Clegg’s Magic Money Tree

Nick Clegg’s big conference giveaway managed to last a few hours before it was comprehensively taken apart by policy wonks.

  • Centre for Policy Studies – free school meals for under 8s is yet another “universal benefit… a middle-class welfare gimmick”. Costing £600 million it is “not free at all. The money comes from somewhere. It comes from us.”
  • Taxpayers Alliance“This is a conference gimmick that is a misleading, but all too typical, attempt from politicians to wade in and pretend they are doing something about the pressure on the finances of struggling families by promising subsidies paid for with other people’s money.”
  • Institute of Economic Affairs – “This is an enormously bad use of public money. Not unreasonably, the government already ensures that those in need have access to free school meals, so it beggars belief that we are now going to see a policy instated which will subsidise the children of affluent families.
  • Adam Smith Institute – “Like so many of the Lib Dems’ policies (for instance, their supposed commitment to free university tuition) this is middle class welfare dressed up as help for the poor. It stinks about as much as the school dinners we’re all about to start paying for.”

Labour of course love it, despite even Ed Balls ditching their commitment to universal benefits. No prizes for guessing how the LibDems are framing this:

Conveniently forgetting that Maggie successfully fought the Treasury to keep free milk for under 7s and that the LibDems have now ensured minimum wage shelf stackers are paying for the lunches of millionaires’ kids. The deal is the Tories can now offer a £500 million tax break for married couples. That is over a billion a year of extra spending. The deficit is targeted at £120 billion this year. What austerity?

Simon Hughes Duck Donor Not All They’re Quacked Up to Be

As Simon Hughes was swanning around the stage at LibDem conference, Guido was peking into the LibDem Deputy Leader’s latest donations. He can reveal that London Duck Tours have been footing the bill for Hughes’ office upkeep to the tune of £4,950. Incidentally the business requires access to the Thames, and Hughes’ seat is in Southwark. The Liverpool branch of the company hit the news earlier this year when one of their amphibious bus boats sank with 31 people on board. No fowl play, however. Owner John Bigos winged it at the time, claiming that the fact he had fired half of his staff was not to blame for the poultry service. One donor who’s not contributing to the LibDems’ Million Jobs campaign then…

Pickles Pilgrim Reforms Will Save £400,000-a-Year

Militant PCS union getting off from their court battle with Eric Pickles hit DCLG in the pocket to the tune of £90,000. Good news then that the department’s union reforms are saving that figure several times over. New stats show cutting back on trade union facility time will save £400,000-a-year of taxpayers’ money. They have already cut back on the bonkers £245,644-a-year the department was spending under the Prime Mentalist in 2008/9, though £40,000-a-year is still far too high. An encouraging start but still a long way to go…

UPDATE: DCLG get in touch to stress that PCS now owe them money rather than the other way round.

Jacqui Smith Back on Public Teat from December

It wouldn’t be an expenses themed day without mentioning Jacqui Smith, and guess what?

The former Home Secretary will soon be back on the public teat. Smith is set to become Chairman University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust.


Mr and Mrs Bone’s £100,000 Taxpayer Bonanza

Peter Bone manages to shoehorn his wife “Mrs Bone” into almost every speech or question in the House. “Mrs Bone” has almost become a PMQs institution. What you might not know is you are paying for that dubious pleasure. New […]


Rory Stewart’s Latest Trek

Despite advising the Prime Minister on international affairs, Tory MP Rory Stewart missed the crucial Commons vote over bombing Syria. His sheepish explanation is that he was at his sister’s wedding. As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, Rory almost […]


Where Does “Most of the Money” for Labour Come From?

Yesterday the Labour press team were very insistent that Guido got his a story wrong when he claimed that Rachel Reeves was being less than honest when she said: “most of the money that the Labour Party receives comes from […]


Bercow Rents Out London Home Thanks to Taxpayer

One of the many perks of grace and favour pads is the additional chance to trough that they give those in high office through rental income. Despite being a record expense claimer in his days on the backbenches, John Bercow […]


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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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