This is James Cleverly the local Member for Parliament. He is a Conservative and recently like all members received a substantial increase in his MP's salary worth around £7000 a year to him. This means he is now paid about £70,000 a year. On top of this he remains a member of the London Assembly (or council if you like) for a period earning another £18,000 I think it is for this. James remains a Major in the Territorial Army (or Reserves as the Conservative government now call it) an organisation he joined after injury forced him out of the regular army. Pay rates for such an officer are around £124 a day (daily rate is normal here) with occasional 'bounties of around a thousand.
As an MP he will be able to claim enormous expenses for almost everything work related, has a 'card' that enables this at good rates, and various subsidised 'tea rooms' in the House of Commons to ease his working day. James Cleverly will also come into contact with a great many people seeking his advice, some of which may well offer legitimate payment and others may lead to other advantages.
Nothing wrong, criminal or illegal as far as can be told so far. Nothing indicates a man who does anything but works hard for his income, a good income and lifestyle which he and his family no doubt enjoy.
My one problem is that recently the Conservative government, the one that allows big business to avoid tax (George Osborne's family firm paid him a bonus of £1500 after avoiding corporation tax for ten years while paying no tax on millions of profits! He is the Chancellor, the governments money man!), this government that encourages tax dodging has cut benefits for the disabled by £30 a week!
James Cleverly, the man doing so well himself, voted in support of this cut!
How can well paid satisfied members of the House vote to cut benefits from the weakest while doing nicely themselves I ask? Many of those dependent on vehicles have lost their support and are now trapped in their houses, others are losing equipment that keeps them alive, others suffer everyday losses re foodstuffs and daily requirements.
James Cleverly appears to support this attack on the poorest and it does not sit well with many of us.
This morning we awake to the ceaseless chatter re the budget. George Osborne will start spewing forth his budget this afternoon and we all know what it will say. For days we have heard it will cut £4 Billion from somewhere and no increase on Beer duty, at least that appears to be the main two topics. What happened to keeping such things quiet until the day? One thing we all know is that the rich will not be stopped avoiding tax, this has been ensured by the appointment to the top ranks at the Tax Office of three men famous for advising big companies on tax avoidance. The cutting of thousands more tax jobs will also follow!
I will ignore all this. Each budget day the government party tell us how wonderful this is, the opposition tell us how awful, the facts we discover arrive the next day once various 'experts' (and there are always 'experts' on hand to explain) have studied the results of the changes. Rarely is it good news. Only the top elite will benefit once again and the rest will carry the burden. That's how it is.