Week 33: Prat – Mark Simmonds MP

by George_East on August 17, 2014

This Week’s Prat of the Week is Tory MP for Boston and Skegness and former Minister of State and the Foreign Office, Con_PratMark Simmonds

This week the world’s smallest violins were out in sympathy with poor (at least that is how he would like himself to be seen) Tory MP, Mark Simmonds.   You see,  the tragic Mr Simmonds was left with no choice but to resign from his plumb ministerial role at the foreign office.

It seems that normal service has been resumed after the surprisingly admirable resignation on principle of Baroness Warsi over Gaza, Mr Simmonds has resigned over money.   An unusual aspect of it is, perhaps, that he hasn’t resigned for having his snout in the expenses trough, which is the usual money-related reason for the end of a ministerial career (see David Laws, Maria Miller
etc).

No, Mr Simmonds has instead resigned because it is simply not possible for him to live on the meagre income that his ministerial role provided.    His basic salary was a mere £90,000 per year, on top of this he employed his wife to manage his constituency office on a further £20,000 + per year.   As well as this miniscule household income of £110,000, he was entitled to a housing allowance (effectively a tax payer funded second home as it can go towards the payment of a mortgage)  of  £25,000 or so.  So that’s a total income pot of £135,000 from his role as an MP and minister. Of course Mr Simmonds like most other Tory MPs has significant other outside income as well.

As against this the average salary in the UK in January 2014 was £26,500.  I suspect his constituents are on average on somewhat less than this, as his corner of Lincolnshire is not one of the wealthier constituencies in the land.

Mr Simmonds whining over his paltry pay packet which puts him in the top couple of percent in the land tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the sense of entitlement of many of our ruling class or their basic contempt for the plight of ordinary people facing ever more insecure financial futures.   He would be a villain if he wasn’t such a laughable self-parody of a Tory MP, which puts him firmly in the prat category.

I’ll leave the last word on the contemptible Mr Simmonds to a Conservative voter, Mrs Iris Dainton, who wrote to the local paper the Boston Standard on the subject:

Bewailing the fact that he cannot manage on £120,000 per year, plus a £25,000 per year salary for his wife and the proceeds of £500,000 he made on the sale of his London home – for which the taxpayer footed the bill and he pocketed the profit. You don’t have to be a fan of “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist” to see how thoughtless this is in an area where most work for the minimum wage.

If that sort of income puts folk off becoming MPs, as Mr Simmonds states, then we are clearly in danger of having only the aristocracy back in Parliament albeit this time in the House of Commons instead of in the House of Lords!’

Well said Mrs Dainton indeed.

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