Burton MP Janet Dean has been condemned by her Conservative Opponent for voting herself £10,000 to spend on “spin and propaganda”. The comments came as MPs awarded themselves an extra £6.5 million of taxpayers’ money to fund what Mr Griffiths condemned as their own ‘shameless self-promotion’. Every MP will be entitled to claim an extra £10,000 a year in expenses to ‘communicate’ with their constituents. This was a Government proposal, opposed by the Conservatives in Parliament, and voted for by Mrs Dean.
Burton and Uttoxeter Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman Andrew Griffiths said:
“I am sure that local residents will be astonished to learn that at a time when services are being cut and care homes closed in Burton. MPs are voting to award themselves another £10,000 to spend on self publicity, which seems an outrageous waste of money. I am disappointed that our own MP believes people want even more money spent on politicians’ spin machines, rather than on public services. ”
“Of course MPs have a duty to communicate with their constituents, but they also have a duty to spend their constituents’ taxes wisely. The reality is that the money will be used for political marketing, and therefore give an unfair advantage to incumbent MPs. I’m sure the sceptical public don’t want more of their taxes spent on MPs’ spin funds.”
The Government proposed that MPs should each receive a new £10,000 communications allowance. This is in addition to the Incidental Expenses Provision (which would remain at £20,000) and a stationary allowance (the average cost of which has increased from £4,000 to £7,000).
MPs already cost the taxpayer a massive £86.7 million a year in expenses and office allowances, or £134,000 each, including £5 million on travel. Their £60,000 annual salaries cost taxpayers a further £39 million.
The extra costs bring the total cost of MPs to the public purse to £132.2 million.