This is the best competition ever!
UK residents aged 18 or over can enter this News of the World competition, by sending in two of the tokens published in the newspaper today and over the next two Sundays. The winner receives a cash lump sum of £75,000, to fund a year of trumped-up bills and decadent living.
I just e-mailed my husband, who is beavering away making custom guitars in his workshop today:
Miss T: Hello. Can you pick up the NOTW on your way back please, so we can collect the tokens and enter the “Live Like An MP For A Year” competition? Ta.
Mr T: Yes, sounds brilliant. Can I be a rowdy back bench rebel? Can I buy pay-per-view adult movies? Oooh, and two toilet seats?
Miss T: Only if they’re glittery toilet seats, like John Reid’s.
For the benefit of the 35 per cent of Miss Thrifty readers who are based outside the UK, perhaps I should explain.
Our Members of Parliament are highly-paid, but complain that they receive relatively little. They are also entitled to claim “expenses”, which are – of course -funded by British taxpayers. However, up until now, the details of these shadowy claims have been concealed from public view.
The MPs didn’t want the details to enter the public domain; they were thwarted. Now the taxpayers are getting a whiff of what has been going on – and it’s very, very stinky. Many of the claims are dubious; others are downright outrageous. Movers and shakers from all parties have been wringing money out of taxpayers left, right and centre, to fund luxurious lifestyles that are beyond the reach of most of us.
And all of this at a time when, thanks to the Government’s mismanagement, the UK economy is up the creek, unemployment is soaring and foreclosures are ten-a-penny.
Choice claims include:
- MPs buying houses, doing them up at taxpayers’ expense and then selling them on at vast profits (which they then pocket). They then buy another home and the expensive cycle begins all over again. One Conservative MP made a profit of £320,000, after renovating and selling one of his London homes using this system.
- Central London homes, purchased by MPs who already live close to the Houses of Parliament, but who claim that the commuting distances are too far. They then begin claiming for the additional mortgage payments and renovation costs.
- MPs claiming for silk cushions, pouffes, bath plugs, garden plants and loo seats. (The former Deputy Prime Minister claimed for two toilet seats in one year; former minister John Reid claimed for a £29.99 glittery toilet seat – hence our comments above.)
- MPs claiming expenses for Remembrance Day wreaths (Remembrance Day is a solemn, annual event in the UK, for which we wear poppies and remember those who died for our country).
- MPs claiming gargantuan sums for professional cleaning and gardening services. One former Conservative Cabinet minister claimed more than £9,000 for gardening and the removal of moles from his country estate.
- The Home Secretary claiming for pay-per-view adult movies.
- The (male) Immigration Minister claiming for women’s clothes and tampons.
- A MP claiming for the cost of a new boiler and hot water system, because his old hot water was “too hot”.
- Another MP claimed £20,000 for home renovations, including the replastering of her Artex ceilings as she deemed them to be in “bad taste”.
For further reading: the splendid Guido Fawkes has compiled a Sunday Sleaze Bumper Edition.
It’s a nasty business. People here are very angry about it. It doesn’t help that in many cases, the MPs appear to have misjudged the public mood on this one – and are instead convinced that their actions are reasonable and just.
Doesn’t it make your heart sink? I’m cross enough as it is; I can’t imagine how angry I would feel if I was one of the many who had lost a job and/or a home, in part because of this Government’s utter lack of financial prudence.
Something tells me that our MPs aren’t Miss Thrifty readers…