MP who said £82K salary was 'really grim' voted to slash welfare 49 times 1 month ago

MP who said £82K salary was 'really grim' voted to slash welfare 49 times

Sir Peter Bottomley is just the pits!

The Tory MP under fire for saying surviving on £82,000 a year is "really grim" voted to cut welfare and benefits almost 50 times over a four-year period.

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Sir Peter Bottomley, the longest-serving MP in the house of commons, was roasted Thursday for pushing for a 22 per cent pay increase because MPs should be on at least £100,000 a year

The Tory MP for Worthing West's comments - in an interview with the New Statesman on Tuesday - were particularly jarring at they came the day before his party reinstated the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit, plunging millions of Britons into poverty - and as Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, was videoed singing 'I Had The Time Of My Life' at the Conservative Party conference.

Bottomley, whose salary is nearly three times the UK average, voted to cut welfare and benefits 49 times between 2012 and 2016.

Living on such a stipend (£82,000), Bottomley believes, is "desperately difficult" for the younger MPs.

But according to the youngest serving MP, Labour's Nadia Whittome, Bottomley's comments couldn't be further from the truth. 

“It’s frankly insulting to complain about an income which puts him in the top 5% of UK earners," she told JOE.

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"If Peter Bottomley believes it’s 'really grim' to live on a salary of £82,000, how does he think that families reliant on Universal Credit survive? At best his comments are out of touch with reality, at worst they're cruel.”

Whittome made headlines when she was first elected after announcing plans to donate a substantial portion of her salary to charity.

The MP takes home £35,000 of her £81,932 MP salary, giving the rest to local causes in her Nottingham constituency.

On Friday, Nadia Whittome announced she had donated £3,000 to the Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum. Last year, the charity gave practical advice, information, support and friendship to over 1700 refugees and asylum seekers. 

On Bottomley, she said: “His government has just taken an additional £1,000 a year from the lowest income families in the country.

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“The political decision of his party are forcing people to live on poverty wages

“He clearly thinks that he and his colleagues deserve a comfortable life, but that working class people should suffer."

Frankly, she’s not wrong. 

Amongst many, many examples: Bottomley voted to cut the housing benefit, to reduce benefits for the disabled and always voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices. 

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He's also a big fan of the controversial bedroom tax, voting to reduce housing benefit for people living in homes with spare rooms.

That policy was particularly controversial at the time, with MPs encouraging housing benefit recipients to "get a lodger" to cover their rent or mortgage.

Bottomley does advocate for pay increases across the board, noting doctors, nurses, and teachers are not paid enough.

Clearly, no one's told him 660,000 Universal Claimants are actually key workers, who lost £20-a-week on Wednesday, thanks to his party.