June 2023
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Arrogant, self-serving liar Cameron keeps a straight face while lying to us

Before the 2010 general election, David Cameron accused Labour of wasting millions of pounds funding ‘a cushy lifestyle for politicians’ and pledged he would ‘cut the cost of politics’. He could not have made his intentions clearer than when he gave a speech announcing that under his government ‘the gravy train would well and truly hit the buffers’.

During his first year in Downing Street, Cameron did take some small steps. He cut ministers’ salaries by five per cent and slashed the number of ministers with a private car and driver from an astonishing seventy eight to a more modest thirteen, saving about £3 million a year. But at the same time, he created 117 new peers. That’s 117 people who were not elected by the taxpaying public; most of whom were probably not even known to the taxpaying public; most of whom had never done anything of benefit for the taxpaying public; most of whom were probably already either wealthy or extremely wealthy and who had no need of taxpayers’ money to support their luxury lifestyles; but all of whom could from then on claim generous and easily ‘fiddleable’ expenses and allowances, paid for by us, till the day they died.

Cameron’s plans to reduce the number of MPs and their costs, when fully implemented, might have saved us taxpayers around £12 million a year. However, the increase in the number of peers could cost us over £10 million a year. So, theoretically Cameron’s policies would save us about £2 million a year. But, whereas the 117 new lords could start energetically siphoning off our money immediately they were appointed, the cuts in the number of MPs would not happen till after the next election – in 2015 – if at all. So, in the period of Cameron’s first and probably last five-year premiership, his cutting the cost of politics might save less than £20 million from reduced ministerial salaries and cars, while the increased number of peers could cost up to a staggering £50 million. The net ‘benefit’ to us taxpayers would thus be around minus £30 million. Not quite what most ordinary people would call ‘cutting the cost of politics’.

What is perhaps most surprising about Cameron’s ‘cutting the cost of politics’ speech is that he managed to keep a straight face while fooling us about his real intentions of hugely increasing the cost of politics, mostly for the benefit of himself and his buddies.

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