Members of the public have attacked the way politicians are funded, saying it has led to a ‘sorry story of dependency, wasted taxpayer’s money and encouraged fraud’.
Talking down the pub with a gang of unemployed builders, plumber Brian Parkin said expense claims - money taken from the poor and impoverished to top up the incomes of the highly paid - were an absolute disgrace.
He said fraud and error under the current free-for-all was haemorrhaging millions and the system was wide open to abuse.
‘Politicians are trapped in a system where they find it increasingly difficult to spend their income before the next round is due’
But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith hit back by saying that poor people were ‘out of touch’ with the rich and had no idea what it was like to have serious money problems to worry about.
‘Poor people are not kept awake at night fretting about low interest rates or wondering how their shares and pensions are doing’ argued Duncan-Smith ‘having nothing at all can have enormous benefits for the desperately poor in society and our aim in the Conservative party is to keep it that way’.
The W&P Secretary also warned that there was worrying evidence a crackdown on expense claims could lead to a decrease in crime and prostitution amongst politicians which would hit the most vulnerable in society.
‘Pocketing a few quid from a quick blow job is the only way some people can top up their income.’ said Duncan-Smith....’no politician will give up perks like that without a fight’.