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Debate rages on over MP Maria's expenses
8:57am Friday 5th June 2009 in Letters
I ASKED Maria Miller for her expenses to be published online weeks before she publicised them.
We have been paying for her Merton SW London property for years whilst she only rents in Old Basing.
If she wants to live in London with her family, then stand for election in London. Don’t short change us Ms Miller.
You have been caught, and you should stand down. Let a more worthy Tory candidate stand in your place.
–spcleary, Hatch Warren.
UNTAINTED by recent media exposures, Maria Miller remains the best MP that Basingstoke could have.
No one who takes any interest in their home town can fail to have seen just how hard she promotes everything that’s best for Basingstoke and how hard she fights against anything which threatens the wellbeing of its residents.
“Basingstoke is a great place to live” is her basis for just about every issue that she is involved with whether in The House, select committees or in written questions. Pampered politician, hands in the till – what a crock of nonsense.
Keep fighting for us Maria. We know you won’t let us down.
–Jim Holder, Old Basing.
I WAS born in Basingstoke, grew up here and now live here with my husband and children. I appreciate the time and effort that Maria Miller puts into issues that really concern us Basingstoke residents of all ages.
As a mother who works full-time, I know how difficult it is to keep committed to your job and your family – and I am really impressed at Maria Miller’s enthusiasm and dedication to us.
I also know that the hours she puts into the job set Maria apart as one of the new type of MP – one who actually wants to represent people’s causes and is really making a difference.
–Zoe W, Bramley.
GOOD to see a local MP taking the initiative in this situation. We want an MP who can be in London for late-night debates and votes but also spend plenty of time in Basingstoke.
Some sort of second home allowance makes sense and there is no suggestion that Maria Miller has abused the existing allowance.
However, the whole system of MPs’ expenses has been discredited by the actions of some MPs.
So I applaud Maria for taking a brave stand that really does mean putting her money where her mouth is. If only every MP was as hard-working and conscientious as Maria.
–Another Rob, Basingstoke.
ONCE again Maria Miller is leading by example. She has said that the expenses system is broken and causing public offence, so she will stop using it.
In doing so she is leading, not just by words but by actions, the movement for a complete reform. Maria Miller is already hugely respected in Basingstoke for the work she is doing and she has helped thousands of people.
I believe the people of Basingstoke will hold her in even greater respect for the lead she is now giving on the expenses issue and the call she is making for fundamental change in Parliament itself.
The people of Britain want those changes – and Basingstoke’s MP is leading by example. Good for her!
–Conservative Councillor Stephen Reid, Basingstoke.
COME on! Please don’t treat us as complete idiots. The MP isn’t leading by example nor is she leading on the issue of expenses.
The facts are that since she entered Parliament she has claimed within a few pounds of the max possible additional costs allowance.
We find out now that this has been made up of £1,400 per month to help pay the mortgage on a house in Merton that she owned nine years before she even got elected. She is clearly smart enough to realise that this looks bad to us the taxpayer and so she’s trying to make the best of it.
So please friends and supporters of the MP, please credit us with some intelligence and please realise that the question is not whether she is a good constituency MP but whether her judgement was right in her actions, which today I would seriously question.
I TOTALLY agree with J&S. A display of utter contempt to the voters of Basingstoke. Stable door and bolted horses spring to mind.
Interesting to note there is absolutely no comment of support for her coming from Mr Cameron. That says something.
Filling this forum with inane comments about how hard she works from her supporters adds insult to injury. She is supposed to work hard. She’s our MP. MPs work hard – don’t they?
SOME MPs exploited the system and overstepped the mark – they deserve everything they get.
All the same, the public need to be more realistic about MPs’ pay and benefits. This is an incredibly important job, yet many people working in local government are paid more than a backbench MP.
If you pay peanuts you risk ending up with monkeys and what we need more than anything else at the moment is competent people to get us out of the mess the present Government has got us into.
Most employers would jump at the chance to employ someone with Maria Miller’s competence and professionalism and be happy to pay two or three times the backbencher salary.
Maria is doing a fantastic job as our MP and should be commended for taking the initiative in disclosing her expenses.
It can only be good for Basingstoke that she is likely to have a senior role in a future Conservative Government and we should stop nit-picking over expenses and start worrying about the real issues which face the country.