Author Topic: Melanie Johnson, MP  (Read 34010 times)

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John_fraser

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Melanie Johnson, MP
« on: October 22, 2004, 10:15:42 am »
Here are the expenses our MP claims

Additional Costs Allowance£20,333
London Supplement £1,574
IEP£18,283
Staff Costs£62,649
Members' Travel£3,423
Members' Staff Travel£29
Centrally Purchased Stationery£887
Stationery: Associated Postage£2,675
Central IT Provision£922
Other £0

The total is £110,775. A little below the average of £118,437, although she doesn’t live as far from London, or represent a constituency as far from London as most MPs, so travel costs are reduced. This does not include her MPs salary of £57,000, her ministerial salary or her ministerial expenses.

Leaving aside her ministerial costs, I have seen so little action out of our MP over the last seven years that I do not feel she represents good value for a cost of £167,000.

I will send Ms Johnson a link to this thread. She may like to comment.

Editor's Note: Edited only to make the table above display properly.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2005, 08:26:49 am by Editor »
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2004, 01:24:29 pm »
Totally agree - I've never seen her in person.

At the last run-up to the general election the only person that came to canvass me for my vote was Grant Shapps.

As a result he got my vote.

I'd be interested in seeing what comment, if any, Melanie makes in response to this thread.

 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2004, 02:41:50 pm »
Check out the Welwyn Hatfield Times.  She does have her picture in the paper quite frequently attending local events.  In fact there is usually a debate in the letters page about who gets a mention and picture most often - Melanie Johnson or Grant Shapps.

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2004, 02:59:58 pm »
Politicians and publicity, like bees to a honey pot – whatever the party. But I would like to see more action and involvement and less photo opportunities.
 

Offline Margaret

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2004, 03:58:54 pm »
Some time ago I lobbied for up-to-date hearing aids to be introduced in the National Health rather than the ones that have been issued since 1948, I wrote to Melanie Johnson with my concerns and received a letter back within two days (not a standard letter) saying she would look into the matter, which she did and a year later took the trouble to write and tell me that modern hearing aids were to be introduced in the National Health across Hertfordshire in the near future. I have also seen her at Chancellors school when she attended presentation evening (even though at the time she was unwell). She came across as a very caring and dedicated person.
 

Offline Margaret

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2004, 03:59:47 pm »
Sasquartch.
I hope that wasn't the only reason he got your vote!!!
 

Phil_Holm

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2004, 04:26:52 pm »
Reminds me of that old Dire Straights track.

What was it now?

Money for .....
 

Offline Grant Shapps MP

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2004, 05:32:55 pm »
Just to update those numbers, here are the accurate figures:

The total running cost of our local MP is £196,000.

Her Junior Minister salary is: £85,000 + the £111,000 already mentioned in expenses.

Her expenses claim includes the controversial maximum allowable £20,333 for a second home in London, intended for MPs in the country with a long way to travel and no way of getting home at night.

Incidentally, public money is also used to print and deliver the one so called feedback newsletter that's been put through our doors during the year.  Around £2,600 from what I can tell.

I don't want to turn this into a political thread, unless Melanie cares to join it, so I'll just provide the figures above, rather than comment on them.

Grant Shapps
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2004, 05:50:49 pm »
Margaret

It wasn't the only reason I voted for Grant but the point I want to make is that IF a prospective MP can't be bothered with meeting people before they're elected it seems unlikely they'll be interested in me after they've become an MP.

Grant has made an effort to get involved in local issues and I think that counts for a lot - I look forward to meeting Melanie when she's canvassing for votes at the next general election.

 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2004, 07:17:37 pm »
Margret,

Chancellor’s school sounds like just another photo-opt.

On the more worthy cause of hearing aids:

1 – Did she actually do anything to cause the change?
2 – Has the change actually happened?

Grant,

Are you prepared to put on record that you will not take any money for a home in London should you be elected?
 

Offline Grant Shapps MP

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2004, 01:29:54 am »
Quote
>> Grant,

>> Are you prepared to put on record that you will not take any money for a home in London should you be elected?


Absolutely. Why would an MP for Welwyn Hatfield need a second home in London? At worst you might need to stay over in town occasionally, but Parliament no longer even sits late night (apart from Mon) and I'd rather be home with my family.

No, I wouldn't draw the sum.

Grant Shapps
 

Offline eric

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2004, 11:18:52 am »
Can someone help me out please ?   I've read all about MPs salaries and expenses but haven't spotted much about their pension plans ?  
How much do they themselves contribute ?
How much do we have to contribute ?
What do they get out of it, and when ?

Think I've read that their scheme is pretty well feather-bedded, but mebbe that something else to be taken in to account as we run up to an election  (with tax dividends slashed, Equitable eradicated, and all the rest of it)
 

Offline Aidan Winwood

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2004, 01:28:25 pm »
Eric,

As far as I'm aware MPs finish with 50% final salary - which they voted for themselves approximately 18months to 2 years ago.  There was also apparently a 25 million hole in their pension scheme, which was filled by the tax payer.

Very happy be told this is rubbish and MPs are hard done by - this is secondhand info I've been told.

Aidan
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2004, 03:25:10 pm »
Quote
Members of Parliament belong to the parliamentary pension scheme. This is a final salary scheme
with a current accrual rate of 1/40th. It is a contributory pension with the contribution rate now set
at 9% of salary.


http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/M05.pdf

The filling of the "pension hole" I belive is true
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2004, 11:27:00 pm »
Here are some back of the envelope calculations you might find interesting:

An MP pays £5,130.00 into their pension (9% of £57,000). If they used that to buy an annuity on the open market they would be lucky to get 5%, or £257pa. But, as they are on a final salary scheme, they get 2.5% (1/40th) or £1,425.00, over 5 times as much!

Another benefit for MPs is the “Resettlement Grant”

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management_information/parliamentary/parliamentary_pay/pay/payments_on_leaving_office/index.asp

“A Resettlement Grant is payable to all MPs who do not seek re-election, whose constituency disappears or lose their seat at a General Election. It is not payable at any other time. The amount of the Resettlement Grant is calculated as a percentage of annual salary determined by age and length of service. It ranges from 50 to 100% of the annual salary.”

This is paid regardless. In effect the tax payer has to pay an MP £28,500 – £57,000 should the electorate decide to sack them. Melanie Johnson is also entitled to three months pay when she stops being a minister. This will be about £7,000. Again, the reason for termination – including being sack for poor performance – is not a factor

Then you have to factor in “outside interests” – or moonlighting as the rest of the world knows it – but as Melanie Johnson is a minister she is not allowed any. Prior to 2001, when she became a minister she decaled 4 items:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/parliament/0,9307,-2740,00.html

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmregmem/memi15.htm

JOHNSON, Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
2.Remunerated employment, office, profession etc
Member of Political Opinion Panel of BPRI (Business Planning and Research International). (£1-£1,000)
Member of Harris Parliamentary Panel.
Member of MORI Parliamentary Panel.

4.Sponsorship or financial or material support
Financial contribution of £20,000 from Roche, a pharmaceutical company based in my constituency, for the improvement of the constituency services I can offer and the research support available to me.

5.Gifts, benefits and hospitality (UK)
Carpeting for my constituency office provided by Mr. Kevin Daley, a carpet supplier in Hatfield. (Registered 22 January 1998)
 

Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2004, 12:50:02 am »
I've restrained myself for a long time but John has unfortunately caused my safety valve to blow. The reason being the divide which currently exists between final salary scheme pension schemes (almost all either Civil Service or Local Authority/Public Service workers) and the rest of us who get either nothing or not a lot from our employers as a pension contribuition. So why is it that the two major organizations in the country which do not have to compete in the open market for £££ find themselves able to proudly declare that final salary schemes must be kept open for their staff - knowing that the tax and council tax payers will always bail them out. And when you hear that the civil service has grown by 50,000 since 1997 the costs of providing for all these final salary pensions must be immeasurably great.
Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"
 

Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2004, 12:50:57 am »
Sorry that the foregoing has nothing (much) to do with Melanie but sometimes you've got to get it out of your system.

ATG
Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2004, 09:40:05 pm »
Well it’s been 11 days a no response from our MP. Maybe she’s been too busy. After all, living in Cambridge, whilst holding done a ministerial position doesn’t leave you much time to answer questions from for constituency. Maybe if she deemed Welwyn & Hatfield nice enough to live in and bring up her children in then may be she’d have some time for us. Alternatively, maybe she should give up her ministerial job. Frankly I find her efforts to make us eat less salt pathetically patronising and highly embarrassing.

Maybe she just has a contemptuous attitude to the people here. Maybe her contempt is limited to me. Well, she was sent to Westminster by the electorate to represent her constituents and is funded by the taxpayer. As a member of all three groups I figure I deserve an answer. Hopefully it will arrive soon. Because, while I’m not a fan of Melanie Johnson or New Labour, I don’t like Michael Howard, I still don’t think the Tories are ready for government and I think the Libdems wouldn’t know where to start. Like a lot of people round here I’m undecided and the candidate that convinces me that they are the least worst option will get my vote. The bar has never been set lower.
 

Offline southbury

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2004, 12:21:02 pm »
get you !
 

Offline Reginald

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2004, 02:42:42 pm »
Perhaps, come the next election, we could have Grant and Melanie in American style debate in the BPH . I think  know who will win (apart from Melanie may not know how to get there!)

At least if it gets boring we can console ourselves with a few of the excellent ales on sale there....

ps please avoid a night when the mighty Gunners are on the box, dont want serious stuff interupted!!! ;)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2004, 02:44:33 pm by Reginald »
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2004, 03:05:29 pm »
Reality Check.

MJ is a Labour MP.
She gets in power by votes.
BP is anything but a Labour ward.
Therefore she has no use for us whatsoever and concentrates on areas that will vote for her.
regards,
jet
 

Offline Aidan Winwood

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2004, 03:52:14 pm »
Reginald,

Much as I hate to say it, having the 'presently-all-conquering-but-it-won't-last-forever.-hopefully-they're-going-down-the-pan-sooner-rather-than-later' gooners on screen when the debate is going on may have a useful efect - with all those pikey red tops in there Melanie might get confused and think there was an overwhelmingly vocal support for her in Brookmans Park nowadays and pay us a bit more attention.

However I wouldn't be there to see it since having two lots of reds in there at once would be more than I could
bear...

Aidan
 

Offline supersonic

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2004, 04:58:25 am »
Question: do we know for sure that Ms Melanie Johnson is aware of this discussion? Has she been advised of what is being said here and has she been formally invited to respond?


supersonic
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2004, 08:32:40 am »
----- Original Message -----
From: "Melanie Johnson MP" <xxxxxxxxx@netcomuk.co.uk>
To: "John Fraser" <xxxxxxxxx@brookmans.com>
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 14:23
Subject: Re: MPs Expenses

Dear Mr Fraser

Thank you for your email pointing Melanie to the thread you have started on
the Brookmans Park website about her expenses/allowances.

Chris Gillen
P/A to Melanie Johnson MP

« Last Edit: November 03, 2004, 08:42:21 am by John_fraser »
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2004, 08:42:09 am »
PS. If any one else wants to ask her to respond, Melanie Johnson's e-mail address can be picked up from a page that this site links too.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2004, 12:46:59 pm »
Reality check 2

The proletareat assume that their empowered political representatives see them as worthy of being classed as the same species.
This they do not.
They consider themselves elite and indeed they are.
Good salary and perks wether they achieve anything or not.
All followed by a great pension and inclusion in the after dinner speakers gravy train club.
Any wonder that so few vote and that the young in particular are so dissolussioned that they ape the money grabbing antic of their aptly named peers.
regards,
jet
 

Offline southbury

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2004, 01:10:26 pm »
excuse me for appearing churlish and I do not mean to seem rude. .. however, if we concentrated on issues which we can control in the village instead of massaging our own egos then we may improve our own environment. Does whinging about our MP (rightly or wrongly) utilising perfectly legimate expenses encourage them to take notice of and work on the issues that effect us all locally ? Surely if we want them to address local issues such as the nuissance youths and the break in to the Scout Hut we should not be antagonising them over something over which we have no control ?
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2004, 01:22:35 pm »
Are the expenses “legitimate”? Legal, yes: But “legitimate” as in “Authentic; genuine; Being in accordance with accepted standards” is very much open to question. A question our MP is yet to address.

Our MP is a matter that we all have some direct control over. As a voter and taxpayer I don’t see that we have to avoid antagonising them.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2004, 01:23:48 pm »
The point is that our representatives do not care wether we antagonise them or not.
Its all water of a thick feathered ducks back to them.
It is not PC for any MP to represent the type of people that live in BP, who are in fact an endangered species.
Vandalism by youths is the responsibility of their parents, however the rights of the parents to control their offspring have been taken away by the government.
The police for instance will now have to "negotiate" with anti social youths rather than nick them.
Can you imagine any herberts around here worrying about a fine.
They would probably thrust their credit card at the copper and tell them to add a tip for their trouble.
Lets not forget that the police attitude to theft and break ins is that the victim has not taken enough trouble over security.
If more citizens got out into the area if only for a walk then their prescence alone would tend to prevent crime.
Empty streets is a criminals dream.
regards,
jet
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2004, 01:28:55 pm »
JF & JET in total agreement on something!
I will say what everyone else thinks.
Our MP is out of touch with the people who pay for her lifestyle.
She cannot even be bothered to spend 5 minutes posting on this forum despite the invite.
Of course it would be her PAs fault and she was not told etc etc
Soon be sticking leaflets through the door at gravy train , sorry election time though.
regards,
jet
 

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