Failed politicians and snout-in-the-trough careerists like new Tory MP Alun Cairns have trousered £845,000 of public money since the Assembly elections last year. The figure would pay for all of the cuts to Children's Services for homeless and orphaned children that Council Council is making TWICE over.
The odious Cairns, now MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, snaffled £30,000 of "resettlement" money despite the fact that he is continuing work as an MP from the same home, and collected a £12,000 pay rise in his move from AM to MP. His only defence was that everybody else, from Plaid's Dafydd Wigley to Labour's Rhodri Morgan have done the same.
Just like the expense scandal, all the main parties have been at it. Others caught at the trough include Nick Bourne, ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, who took the highest pay-out of £51,415 as reward for losing his seat in the Assembly, former Labour AMs Andrew Davies and Brian Gibbons, who clloected £51,270 each on top of their salary and generous pension payments, as well as disgraced Liberal AM Mick Bates, who stepped down after punching a paramedic.
Ross Saunders, TUSC candidate for Canton in Cardiff, said, "This will feel linke another punch in the face for the Welsh Health Service, which is facing a savage half-a-billion pound cut in funding this year. The politicians of the main parties tell us that the money simply isn't there to pay for essential services but are very creative finding cash to stuff into their own pockets. Politicians shouldn't be rewarded for disgracing themselves or being voted out of office. These former AMs should be forced to give back this cash to the public to spend on the NHS and vital council services. But more than that - we need representatives in the Assembly and in Councils who are there to fight for ordinary working-class people, not to fight to put themselves first in queue. I, like all other candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, pledge to vote and campaign against cuts to services. I also pledge to take only an average wage if elected, not the huge sums sucked out of the system by the corrupt politicians of the main parties."