Sunday, 12 April 2009

The View From Here

The Telegraph View makes interesting reading and raises quite a few questions in the process.

David Cameron is, reportedly, proposing to cut the number of MPs by 10 per cent, in line with the suggestion by Kenneth Baker, a former Conservative Minister. Why only 10 percent? If the United States' 293 million people can manage with 430 Congressmen, while Japan – whose population is twice ours – gets by with 470 MPs, why not split the difference and cut ours by 30 percent to 450? In fact, as one of the comments to the editorial says, as 75/80 per cent of our laws now emanate
from Brussels, why not cut the number of MPs by that percentage? MPs, by their own actions, have emasculated Parliament - and in so doing have been likened to pigs at the trough - so we may as well 'go the whole hog'!

If MPs only 'sat' for 165 days, during the last Parliamentary session, whilst spending little over half that time at Westminster, plus say a further 24 days - allowing for twice monthly surgeries - then £64k is not a bad return for 120/130 days work a year. If they want a salary increase then perhaps they would like to 'work' for it?

Also, if MPs only attended Westminster for say 90 days, what justification can there be for the need of a London home? This 'attendance at Westminster' fact alone means that any 'overnighting' would be more economically funded by staying at a reasonably priced hotel.

Whilst culling of MP's numbers and abolition of the additional costs allowance for 'second homes' would lighten the load on the taxpayer, we could go further. Why not scrap MSPs in Scotland and AMs in Wales, put their respective 'Parliaments' to an alternative use - or sell them - and make Scottish and Welsh MPs hold their debates in Westminster? We could then have an 'English' sitting for English MPs to discuss English matters, all of which would solve the 'West Lothian Question' rather neatly and also make more use of Westminster, rather than the 160+ days it was used.

Just thinking.

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