Not like Tom, really, especially as I was merely asking what was the point of his series of articles whinging about IPSA, in light of his reply to Obo.
You see, the general thrust appears to be that Harris - along with other MPs - are right hacked off with the red tape and form-filling involved in claiming expenses. It's difficult to explain it concisely, but he's saying that it's so convoluted that it's almost like ... oh, I dunno ... like he's a member of the public having to go about daily life. Yeah, that just about sums it up.
Yesterday's offering highlighted such hardships as being asked to provide birth certificates (just as we are forced to for a number of state bodies, most notably the Labour-instigated CRB), and the increase in form-filling (from a member of a Labour government which ramped up bureaucracy, and form-filling with it, to a staggering degree).
For example, in operating our business we now spend, on average, an hour a day dealing with HMRC; an hour dealing with the DVLA and VOSA; and about the same with local authorities and other Labour-invented quangoes. Considering we formed in 1995, we are perfectly placed to notice the incredible extra administrative burden directly attributable to policies enacted under Labour.
Harris - whose staff are paid for by the taxpayer - bemoans the erosion of time spent on such trivialities, as opposed to that expended under the previous system, thus:
“Well, in those days we would actually use our time to help constituents!”Funnily enough, prior to Labour's intervention, we used to use our time growing the business and creating employment. We have taken on one extra employee - someone to deal exclusively with the weight of government interference (whose wages are not paid for by the taxpayer) - but our plans to take on 80 more staff in the next year have been put on hold due to the intransigence of local government jobsworths.
Politicians are of no help whatsoever. When we contact them - they cock the proverbial deaf 'un. And all the while, more regulations in every sphere are pronounced, and the EU directives just keep flooding in.
Fortunately for Harris, while we poor saps have to just grab our ankles and take this shit, MPs have found a way out.
A number of MPs who were not members of the Committee packed into the public hearing to approve the budget, where they heckled and swore at IPSA staff.Marvellous, eh?
Failing to sign off the accounts would have effectively brought about the end of IPSA.
In the end, MPs agreed reluctantly to approve it, but their threat led Sir Ian Kennedy, the chairman of IPSA, to warn that MPs had been left with the power to bring down the body which was supposed to be policing them.
We, the public, aren't trusted enough to run so much as a bath without the state and their clipboard-wavers watching our every move and dictating how we behave, but when a body is set up to rectify the quite atrocious fraud which was prevalent amongst MPs, they spit vitriol and effectively disable it.
Along with every other pleasure, they're even determined to deny us a modicum of Schadenfreude.