Are we paying twice? Should we really have to pay for their propaganda?
On the Parliament web site, they state that “many different types of research are used in Parliament and they come from lots of different sources including academics, charities, think tanks and businesses.” “There are a number of different people that engage with research in parliament. This includes Parliamentarians and the staff they employ, and the staff that work for Parliament within the internal offices that make up Parliament.”
MPs have resources allocated to them to allow them to hire up to four members of staff. These are likely to be spread between the MP’s constituency and Westminster. It is up to MPs to decide how they wish to allocate this money for example, some MPs choose to employ all four staff within their constituencies to help deal with enquiries from the public. Others choose to base one or more staff members at Westminster to help them prepare for debates and other meetings.” and of course, there is the libraries that provide impartial research services.
BUT YOU NOW PAY FOR IT!
If your taxes are used for research in Parliament as described above, why then are you also expected to pay for political party research??
Political parties have their own research services, such as
Policy Research Unit (Conservatives) PRU
Parliamentary Support Team (Liberal Democrats) PST
and Parliamentary Research Services (Labour).PRS
IPSA decided in 2011 :-
“Staffing Expenditure may be used to meet the following cost…payment to pooled staffing resources” Page 23, MPs Expenses Scheme: Third Edition, April 2011
And they were quick to take up the advantage!
Here are some examples.
Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson – claimed £2,000 April, 2018 Professional Services PST on her expenses.
Liberal Democrat Tom Brake – claimed £5,300 last year under ‘Pooled Services’ in his expenses and £5,100.00 the year before.
Labour Yvette Cooper – claimed £1,200 for PRS Aug 2012, Nov 2012 and Feb 2013
under ‘Professional Services’ in her expenses. In May 2013, Sept 2013, Nov 2013 and Mar 2014 she changed it to £1,200 each month under ‘Pooled Services! and more recently £4,800 under ‘Professional Services’ all in her expenses.
Conservative Anna Soubry – claimed £3,877.00 for PRU under ‘Pooled Staff’ in 2011 and 2012 and more recently under ‘Computer Purchase’ £900 for PRU and £3,094.00 under ‘Pooled Services’.
Conservative Nick Boles – claimed £3,877.50 for PRU under ‘Staffing’ in 2010 and more recently £3,094.00 under ‘Pooled Services’.
Even David Cameron when Prime Minister claimed £3,877.50 for PRU under ‘staffing allowance’
However, they were putting these costs through their expenses before April 2012
David Cameron – 1 July 2010 – claimed £2,408.75 for subscription to PRU
Dominic Grieve – 14 Jun 2010 – claimed £3,887.50 for subscription to PRU
Anna Soubry – 27 Sept 2010 – claimed £3,877.50 for subscription to PRU
Jo Swinson – March 2011 – claimed £2,369 for POLD Services (Parliamentary Office liberal democrats)
Tom Brake – 8 Sept 2010 – claimed £263 and £2,369 under different headings.
Only the Conservative company, Policy Research Unit Ltd accounts could be found.
Currently they keep £50,000 back for IT and £368,859 is the current total.
You can view Accounts 2018