"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Monday, 4 November 2013

Energy Scroungers

After looking at how Peter Hain was well and truly on the gravy train when it came to the energy expenses I decided to look into the rest of the MPs in order to try and find some sort of perspective. Is Peter right when he says that without being able to make claims we'd be left with "only very rich MPs" or is he simply digging himself an even deeper hole.

So I went back to the Sunday Mirror article and began to compile a list of every MP, their constituency, their party, their claim amount and what the claim was for. Once you have a full table of results you can then sort them into highest to lowest, organise them by party and create sexy graphs.
You wont find this on the BBC! Share via twitter | facebook
The total amount claimed by all MPs representing Welsh constituencies was £18,148.16. This gives us an average of £453.70. The line is nestled just on top of Huw Irranca-Davies' Ogmore. His claim was a fiver over the average but for the sake of keeping it simple let's just say he's the cut off point. Anyone after him has claimed below the average and anyone before him has claimed more than the average. There were ten MPs who didn't claim anything, well done to them.

The graph shows that no party came off well, each has at least two MPs that claimed more than the average but there is one party that sticks out more than any other. And of course, one MP that sticks out more than any of them.

Here is the table in full, in order of the highest Hain claim down to those who didn't make a single claim.
And at number one this week pop pickers it's Peter and the Claims. Share via twitter | facebook
Peter stated that it was only right that MPs should be able to claim otherwise we'd be left with a situation where "only very rich MPs" would be left. Yet, ten of his fellow MPs including two next door in Swansea didn't make a single claim. I should point out that none of the MPs have broken the law, but it would also be wrong to then say we shouldn't hate the player we should hate the game. When you have a quarter claiming nothing and more than half claiming less than £300 then surely any MP that claims nine times the average and 25% of the total is not something that should be tolerated.

But let's look at the others too. The top seven claims were all Labour, between them their claim was 59.81% of the total. That's just seven out of 40 MPs. In comparison, eight of the ten MPs that didn't claim were also Labour. But the example they have set is trashed by the seven at the top of the list. Just including Labour's top seven and bottom eight claimers gives you a total of around £269 above the average.
Let's hope his voters show him no quarter. Share via twitter | facebook
Labour actually had the opportunity here to come out looking good. Most of their MPs claimed less than the majority of Lib Dem and Plaid MPs and yet they've lost an opportunity of taking the moral high ground on this particular issue due to a select few 'champagne socialists'.

Labour has by far the most MPs in Wales, so of course you would expect their share of the claims to be the most. But the amount Labour MPs claimed is ten percent higher than their share of MPs. Which of course means that the share of claims by the other parties is lower than their share of MPs.
How do they sleep at night? By being really warm and cosy that's how! Share via twitter | facebook
So Mr Hain, when you say that we'd be left with "only very rich MPs" I find that very hard to believe. And no doubt many of your colleagues in Labour would disagree with you too.

I'll leave you with a fantastic reply (one of well over 500 before I was banned) that was left on Peter's facebook group by a disgruntled constituent.

"Just seen all of this, but would refer back to Mr Hain's post. Oil is very expensive, it is, as are other types of fuel. Difference is, where as we have to turn it down, or turn it off, he doesn't have to bother, as we all pay for however much he want's to use. Big difference I reckon, still, we can't have a cold MP can we ?"

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