Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Communications Allowance to be Cut

The Kelly report on Parliamentary expenses is dominated by duck ponds and the posh versions of ditches. As the public reels in disgust at the hidden taxpayers’ largess lorded on the MPs lifestyle choices, there is one item up for the chop which really does deserve a higher profile: the Communications Allowance.

The guidance to MPs reads:

2. The Communications Allowance provides funds to allow you, as a Member of Parliament, to communicate proactively with your constituents and inform them about your Parliamentary duties. You may claim up to £10,000 per year from this allowance.

That’s right, £10,000 a year to spend on self promotion. This was later raised to £10,400 to take into account inflation.

The guidance says the self promotion includes:

Regular reports to constituents
• Newsletters
• Targeted correspondence relating to local or constituency-wide issues such as:
— Contact with local groups
— Circular letters
— Questionnaires or surveys
— Petitions
• Contact and surgery details, including advertisements
• Costs associated with the publishing, printing or distribution of the above, including direct mailing and
• Set-up and maintenance of websites
• Purchase (or leasing) of equipment for the specific purpose of producing the above items (equipment which may be used to this effect but has other uses - such as photocopiers – should be claimed from your IEP).
• Freepost facilities

All paid for by us, the taxpayer.

Good riddance to duck ponds, moats and politics-on-the-rates.

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