Recess Monkey reports HERE that Margaret Beckett, our beloved Foreign Secretary, comes top of the list for the amount of her Parliamentary Allowance she spends on her staff. What the rascally monkey fails to point out that her Chief of Staff is..... her husband Leo. Maybe he works for free for all I know, but if she's top of the list of 656 MPs, shouldn't we be told?
While openness is good and we deserve to know how much our parliamentary representatives cost us, I do get sick of the usual tabloid insinuation that MPs 'trouser' £180,000 each. The papers always try to make out that all MPs are on the make and keep most of the allowances for themselves. Are they saying that MPs shouldn't have any research or secretarial staff? For the record MPs get paid around £60,000 - the rest is spent on office support, staff, travel etc. There are legitimate debates about acoomodation and travel allowances, but let's not be defensive about the fact that parliamentarians need to run an office. Most MPs employ the equivalent of between two and three members of staff and have to rely on the voluntary efforts of