AS a Labour Party member, I was very interested to learn that Fenland’s Conservative MP, Steve Barclay’s Parliamentary expenses, which at £123,310, have topped the region’s results.
Mr Barclay was one of only a handful of new MPs in the region where set up costs for offices and equipment was always going to be more expensive in the short term.
I welcome his decision to move out of the Conservative Association office to a new office to ensure visitors have disabled friendly access and that people of other political persuasions will not be put off from wanting to see him.
However, while I have no objection to Mr Barclay’s expenses total, he is, at the end of the day, a career politician in the mould of the majority of Conservative and Labour MPs.
The problem is not Mr Barclay’s legitimate expenses, but the fact that as an MP he earns, before tax and national insurance contributions, more than £1200 plus each week.
This clearly puts him out of touch with the vast majority of Fenland workers who, according to National Statistics, have an average wage of around £400 a week before tax and NI contributions.
While we cannot expect Mr Barclay to live on the average wage of a Fenland worker, we can demand that Labour’s next Parliamentary candidate for Fenland does.
To those pessimists who object. I say: there are many local trade union convenors and branch officials who would willingly be our Labour MP and live on a Fenland worker’s wage.