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Poor Sir Malcolm Rifkind - From a Welfare Recipient

23/02/2015 15:59 GMT | Updated 25/04/2015 10:59 BST

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP suggests £60k, which goes up to £80k due to his chairmanship of parliamentary intelligence committee, justifies offering his services to a "Chinese company" for extra renumeriation. The sting has seen him suspended from The Conservative Party. I reflect that leaving my professional career to look after my disabled brother, saves the taxpayer the equivalent to paying his salary.

Dear Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

I can sympathise you want a professional pay package to compensate you for the sacrifice you have made in public service. I can only apologise that sacrificing my own professional career to continue the care of my disabled brother, saving the tax payer £80,000 a year, was not enough to keep you in the manner you wish to be accustomed.

It was quite a dramatic fall from about £15 an hour to 62 pence an hour that the state pays me to look after my brother. The Carers Allowance increases per year are capped by how much income support claims is the minimum anyone needs to live on. This means for the 24/7 care I provide, I must subsist on £105 per week. Generously going up to £106 per week next April.

Please pass on my thanks to Iain Duncan Smith on behalf of all full time family care givers that we get £5k a year to live on. If we were public employees this would be a scandal at not being paid the minimum wage. However, we have no such protection or status.

We are welfare recipients, and there is no public outcry for us. There are kind words, there is vocal support on social media. But there is no march in the streets of London. No celebrities demanding dignity for us. No ministers or former ministers demanding this change.

The poverty of care as opposed to the poverty of public service. Both have an opportunity cost. One though is borne with love, the other with a sense of deprived entitlement it seems rather than duty.

I hope that the real terms cut each year since I looked after my brother has helped in some ways to compensate you for your own sacrifice. One day maybe we could meet and compare how we cope with the household budget given our respective remuneration.

I suspect you may have even more free time than you used to; will try to find time in my hectic schedule for you.

Yours,

John

PS Jack Straw is also in my thoughts, as are you, at this difficult time as we all try to make ends meet. We are, of course, all in this together. It is just our continuing sacrifices do not seem to be comparable.

Article originally written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus' Weblog