According to the Mail today, we understand that this year Parliament' budget is to be increased to £228million, a four per cent increase on last year's figure of £219million. In keeping with the example set by the EU, it also appears that Parliament's auditors have refused to 'sign off' the accounts - and for the second year in succession. With the national debt standing at a figure in the region of £940billion - and rising by the day, if not the hour - one would have thought the political elite would set an example by ensuring they cut their own expenditure, especially in view of the Foreward written by John Bercow to the thirty-third report of the House of Commons Commission, in which he states:
"This report covers the first year of a new Parliament.......This is happening against a background of financial stringency. It was inconceivable that the House could stand aside when spending everywhere else in the public sector was being reduced."On top of which is the monies spent refurbishing the Speakers Apartments and the £10million paid to 'retiring' MPs - both of which I consider to be a waste of public money, bearing in mind the 'special' pension arrangements that 'retiring' MPs receive - and let us not forget the past practise of flipping homes', furnishing those homes at our expense, etc, etc.
Then of course we have other costs, namely the The HOUSE of COMMONS: Administration Resource Accounts 2010-11 (for the year ended 31 March 2011) which are well worth a perusal. For those readers interested, previous years can be found here.
If Westminster is supposed to be, amongst other things, a tourist attraction, then if we have to have a national circus perhaps someone would dig up Bertram Mills who ran his rather more efficiently and economically.