For some mind-boggling reason, MPs have been allowed to claim an extra £10,000 in expenses to 'help' them work from home during the lockdown. This is days after health secretary Matt Hancock said that the global pandemic isn't a good time for him to be discussing nurses getting a pay increase.
What's that £10k for? Everything you'd need for a home office setup, because apparently these people have been living lives without basic shit in their houses like laptops and printers. It's also for the extra bump in household bills that their working remotely might generate. Unless they're powering the entire street, this seems excessive. In case you were under the impression that these poor MPs have been going without and using parchment and a quill to get by, they already get a £26k allowance to cover their office costs. So this absolute bullshit.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) which sets and regulates MPs' salaries, pensions, business costs, and expenses, updated it guidelines, saying:
"This is an uncertain and challenging time. Ipsa is committed to supporting MPs and their staff to carry on with their work as far as possible."
If an MP hasn't managed to get their shit together enough to organise buying a laptop with £26k already, they shouldn't be trusted to handle anything more taxing than picking their nose. But let's just chuck another 10 grand their way and see what happens. A letter to MPs from Richard Lloyd, the interim chair of Ipsa, is even more un-fucking-believable:
"We have agreed a series of immediate measures that we hope will provide you with the resources and flexibility to concentrate on your parliamentary duties and support your staff."
I'm glad we can all see how important resources and flexibility are for people to do their jobs. Particularly for those who can't work from home. And especially those risking their lives on a daily basis, like nurses. Hang about, maybe we should check in with health secretary Matt Hancock to see what he's doing to make their lives easier. During an interview this week, Hancock said:
"Now is not the time to discuss a pay rise for nurses."
Right you are, Matt. Let's all just keep clapping at them and make it impossible for them to broach the subject without being vilified for not being happy doing their duties for a pittance. [PoliticsHome]
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