February Column: MP Jacob Rees-Mogg

Published on: 07 Feb 2013

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February Column: MP Jacob Rees-Mogg

Recently I have voted for a cap on benefits of 1 per cent, received confirmation from HM Revenue and Customs that I will no longer be receiving child benefit and opposed the idea that Members of Parliament should have a big pay rise.  It has been a reminder that we are still facing an age of austerity and cannot afford any excess.  Jacob Rees-Mogg MP

Capping benefits increases at 1 per cent is not about dividing strivers from shirkers.  Most people, at least in North East Somerset, are trying to do their best for themselves and their families even when dependent upon the state.  However, it is about fairness.  Benefits have to be paid out of the taxes received from those in work. All other sources of revenue eventually originate with working taxpayers. 

As regards child benefit for higher earners the same basic issue arises.  There’s no point in taxing people at 40 per cent to give them back their own money.  It would be better to move to a lower tax economy.  This would cut the cost of bureaucracy and reduce the feeling of dependency. Increasing MPs’ salaries is never likely to be a popular cause.  Nonetheless, even to suggest it when government spending is still so much higher than income is absurd.  As Parliament voted for the extravagance and financial incontinence of the Labour years so MPs must be among those tightening their belts.

These are three parts, one relatively minor, of a reconstruction of the public finances.  They represent a move back to self-reliance and prudent accounting.  
www.jacobreesmogg.com

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