With MPs being awarded a 10 per cent pay rise this summer, politicians have been left having to defend their annual salary of £74,00o from sceptics who point out that the boost comes at a time when their constituents face tough cuts. Still, Mr S wonders whether that number is too small an estimate after one takes into account all the freebies they can receive.
According to the latest register of interests, MPs have been managing to enjoy a summer of freebies in between their constituency work. After John Bercow boasted last year that he had watched 65 of Roger Federer’s matches, he looks on course to achieve a similar number for 2015. According to the latest register of interests he enjoyed £4,866 worth of freebie tickets to the matches, receiving two pairs of tickets for free during the course of the tournament. This takes his total amount of sports freebies up to £7,497. Meanwhile Bercow isn’t the only MP to be enjoying the perks of the job; Justine Greening also enjoyed £3,200 worth of hospitality from the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon.
Furthermore, it seems even the licence fee payer is helping MPs to have a bit of fun. The BBC gifted James Heappey, the Tory MP, two tickets worth £450 to Glastonbury music festival, which takes place in his constituency. Hopefully the gesture will go some way to appeasing the Tories as they proceed with their charter renewal negotiations.
— James Heappey MP (@JSHeappey) June 26, 2015
Other perks listed include over £1000 worth of hospitality at Lords for Crispin Blunt and a £1,950 watch for Philip Hammond courtesy of H.E. Sheikh Mubarak Mahfouz bin Mahfouz. Meanwhile Simon Danczuk is beginning to give Boris Johnson a run for his money when it comes to fees accrued writing for a paper – he received £10,000 for an article he spent 5 hours contributing to for News UK.
All in all, nice work if you can get it.