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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, April 25, 2008

MPs expenses

In an earlier posting there was much comment on MP's expenses, and someone with inside knowledge made the statement that
    Out of the £86,299 it may interest you to know that Angus MacNeil paid three full-time salaries, which is not an unreasonable amount of money. He would also have been responsible for paying part of the salary for a member of the SNP Westminster staff. Hardly higher than average wages.
Yesterday, I tripped across an offical SNP document, detailing the staffing arrangements:
    Angus MacNeil MP shares a constituency office with Western Isles SNP MSP Alasdair Allan. Angus' staff assist with constituency inquiries and casework. Angus' staff are:

    Kenny MacLeod - Office Manager
    Rona MacDonald (sic) - Parliamentary Officer
    Jane MacNeil - part-time Parliamentary Assistant (Jane is married to Angus)

    At Westminster Angus shares staff with the other SNP Westminster MPs:

    Luke Skipper - Chief of Staff
    Alexander Anderson - Head of Communications
    Anne Harvey - Parliamentary Business Manager
    Richard Thomson - Head of Research
And today 106 MPs have declared that they employ family, although it doesn't yet appear on the Register of Members Interests (see page 78), and I look forward with interest to the full list being made available.


Anonymous said...

According to the Scotsman, MacNeil hasn't owned up yet.

But look at the salaries, and do the arithmetic!

These are the top-end salaries for MPs' staff:

Office managers/executive secretaries £40,052
Senior secretaries £30,363
Junior secretaries £25,195
Senior caseworkers £29,716
Caseworkers £25,195
Senior research/parliamentary assistants £40,052
Research/parliamentary assistants £34,240

Anonymous said...

Do I smell rank hypocrisy from the supposedly 'squeaky-clean' MacNeil?

Just what does Jane do for her (OUR!) money -- apart from put up with his philandering?

Anonymous said...


Perhaps the Met Police should be asked to investigate.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Jane looks after his local affairs whilst Rhona deals with his affairs further afield.

Kenny is in charge of keeping them apart from each other.

Tongue firmly in cheek :-)

Anonymous said...

Alasdair Morrison of course only employed his sisters husband.So thats allright then. Donald Stewart had his wife on the payroll but he was regarded as statesman so that is OK as well. Isnt it.

Anonymous said...

Does the figure include travel expenses? Did the former Chairman of Env Committee (03-07) of CnES EVER claim travel expenses?

What is wrong with employing family? If we were in a situation at the moment of having Angus Nicolson MSP you could bet your house that his secretary would be S. Nicolson (Mrs)!! Where the problem lies is when MPs (or other public figures) employ someone and do not expect them to work for their salary. That can be as easily done with a total stranger as an effeminate older son, or the workshy younger student son.

Angus said...

creaky endow

The £86,299 is staff costs (including/excluding pension?) only, and as can be seen here, there were travel expenses of £37,273 in addition.

And yes, I did claim travel expenses which were published annually, all of which can be examined by the public, unlike MPs expenses.

Anonymous said...

Creaky Endow
I object to your assumption that the only way I can earn a living is to be Angus' secretary.
I am a Qualified Accountant in my own right and earn my own living thank you very much and don't sponge off anyone including my husband.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not with MP's employing family, but with them employing family who don't actually do any work for them.

By the way Angus, your sources into the going's on inside 31 Bayhead don't seem up to much these days.

Anonymous said...

My sources tell me that Rona MacDonald has replaced Rhona Martin working for our MP. So your use of "sic" is incorrect, Angus.

What's the problem here? Is he employing people he's not entitled to? Is he paying them too much? Has he not followed the appropriate disclosure rules?

Personally, I don't think its fair to disclose an individuals salary just because they work for an MP, but it does seem from Anon 8:40's figures that the cost of employing an office manager, a parliamentary officer and a part-time parliamentary assistant would be close to £85k.

The words "storm", "tea cup" and "quiet news day" spring to mind.

Anonymous said...


Nothing here folks. Move on now.

Anonymous said...

Mrs MacNeil is just being given hush money so that she doesn't leave ABM whilst he is in office.

Rhona is reportedly in charge of Internal Affairs.....

Kenny is the face of the local party.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:27
Are you implying that there are "goings on" inside 31 Bayhead. Enlighten us please

Sceptical said...

Sic, is it Angus? Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

as far as i know 'sic' is just another way of saying 'to quote'. Explain where Angus went wrong?!

Anonymous said...

I hear that Rhona and Mr MacNeil "fell out" quite badly and she quit saying that she'd had enough of him. So he hired the other Rona in her place. Good to see the post advertised again.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:23,

From the Cambridge Dictionary:

sic: a word written in brackets (SYMBOL) after a word that you have copied to show that you know it has been spelled or used wrongly

Angus is incorrect because he used "sic" to indicate that there was an error in the document he was quoting from. The document was correct - it's just that Angus' "sources" were out of date.

You can join him at the back of the class...

Anonymous said...

this is just a bit petty, i'm ni lover of the snp or labour for that matter but these xpenses mean nothing, if our msp has trouble keeping his trousers on then lets see some proof, not that this matters a lot if he is doing his job.
it's very easy to be bitter at what life throws at you the measure is how you react

Anonymous said...

£37k is MPs travel costs.I'm sure if his staff need to travel on work related they are also reimbursed and that this is under a separate heading from MP travels costs and probably under a different heading - maybe even under staff costs. Come on Angus, you're married to an accountant surely she can help you figure this out!!

Anonymous said...

or knew decay - I think you will find that 'staff travel' of £789 is probably included in the heading of 'staff travel'

Anonymous said...

anon 10:23 Sorry, i was wrong, you were right! humble appologies LS