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MPs’ snouts in troughs again

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Is the fatted calf getting ever more greedy?

It would certainly seem so, judging by the latest demands of Members of Parliament.

They are lobbying for a larger expenses budget because of what they claim is the “extra workload” foisted on them by Brexit.

Judging by the MPs’ expenses scandal, which came to light in 2009, many people would marvel at the brass neck of MPs calling for yet more perks.

At the moment, a substantial number of MPs have managed to boost their expenses budget to £180,000 a year, for staffing and office-running.

Over the past 50 years or so, admittedly, the MPs’ workload has significantly increased, something which is largely their own fault, since they have been taking on responsibilities which would normally lie in the domain of local authorities.

Long gone, I’m afraid, are the days when being an MP was regarded as a vocation rather than just a job. In those days, they were poorly paid. They even had to buy their own postage stamps to write to their constituents.

I am not suggesting we should return to those days, but I am suggesting MPs should be satisfied with their present lot: They are well paid and well-heeled, with already over-generous expense accounts.

And they have received pay rises far in excess of most other public servants.

So I trust that the authorities who deal with these matters will boot this demand not just into the long grass, but right out of sight. Why should the taxpayer have yet more holes burnt in their pocket?

- Anti-Brexiteers seem to have stepped up their desire to spread gloom over the nation, especially on the question of a no-deal exit.

Chancellor Philip Hammond may be worsening the split in the Cabinet by his claim that a no-deal Brexit could wipe up to 10 per cent off the national income and hit industries hard. I see that Dominic Raab, the new Brexit minister has wasted no time in rejecting such scare stories. If you remember, this kind of fear was spread at the millennium with all sorts of calamities predicted, including aircraft falling out of the sky. Nothing untoward happened at all.