If M.P.s are going to come clean and have their expenses published on the internet, than I believe it is only fair that I do the same.
In order for me to function properly at work, which is most definitely in my employers best interest, I require a strong cup of coffee on arrival, and another to get me through the mid afternoon.
I would not be as dodgy as to claim for days that I am not there, so we'll say that it's five days a week, 44 weeks of the year. At £2.45 a cup that's..
Coffee - £1,078
I can't just drink coffee. It's not enough fluids. I should top it off with a bottle of diet coke, and at £1.09 a bottle that's....
Coke - £239.80
And food! How am I going to work on an empty stomach? I vary my lunch, but I think £5 a day is reasonable for anyone....
Food - £1,100
I know, I know...if I brought my own food in it would be cheaper, and Mrsslippy and I have thought about this, and have spent a lot of time setting up various raised beds and pots in the garden to grow our own produce. We also spent a lot of money - just an initial outlay on materials and seeds etc...., but think of the money that can be saved in the future! So please can I have...
Garden equipment - £200
I often have to work from home, so when my laptop died in March, I think I know who should foot the bill....
Laptop - £350
And how am I going to connect to my desktop PC at work without....
Internet (and phone package etc..)- £540
Our washing machine also broke down this year, and unless I was to be expected to come in wearing dirty clothes and meet important visitors looking like a tramp, then I think I should also ask for.....
Washing Machine - £260
Although I sometimes have to do work at home, I'm still expected to come into the office, so I expect to claim that travel expenditure back...
Bus - £726
And just in case I'm running late, or it's raining, or I have to attend meetings elsewhere, replacing the Mondeo that died in December with a much cheaper to run and insure Micra, will cost (including purchase price)....
Car - £1,380
I need the car to get me from home and back again. In fact, if I didn't have to go home from work, or work from home once in a while, then technically I wouldn't need a home. Nor to ensure the contents, heat it, and pump it full of electricity. And have Sky. Cough up.....
Home - £13,860
But this is all work at home, or work at work. I surely deserve some down time? Petty cash of around £300 a month should keep me in trips to the pub, getting a takeaway once in a while, or new video games to help keep me stress free an productive when I am in?
Petty cash - £3,600
What if I'm in the pub and work try to get hold of me. My mobile isn't for personal use....
Mobile contract - £600
And I'm no use to them dead. Imagine how much it would cost to try and replace me...?
Life insurance - £1,200
Last but not least, I'm probably most productive and refreshed after a Holiday. Borneo and Brazil were lovely, but this year all we have planned so far are weeks in Cornwall and Norfolk. How responsible is that for next years expenses? But for now, there's the small matter of.....
Rain Forest Holidays - £6,000
All totted up, that comes to..
Expenses 2008-09 .....£30,933.80
I've brought this to the attention of our finance department.
They say they've already given it to be.
Apparently that's my salary, and I'm supposed to live within that.
Maybe that's what we should do with MP's? Instead of paying them a basic £64,776 (with more for Cabinet Ministers - £144,520), with unlimited travel expenses, and £22,193 for 'incidentals', just give them a round £100,000, a frequent traveller rail card and a list of Travelodges near Westminster and let them get on with it?
And if they still can't manage on that, I'm happy enough to pass on any advice on how to live just as frugally as I do on a third of the salary.