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英国大臣辞职,因为年薪不够养家

2014-08-13    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Minister quits because £120,000 salary is not enough to support his family

A Government minister has quit politics claiming he cannot live in London on his salary and expenses of nearly £120,000.

Mark Simmonds said he was quitting as a Foreign Office minister and was standing down as an MP because he was unwilling to carry on staying in hotels while his family were hundreds of miles away in Lincolnshire.

Mr Simmonds is the second minister to quit the department in less than a week, after Baroness Warsi quit over the Government’s policy towards Gaza.

Labour said the double resignation had left the Foreign Office rudderless just as humanitarian catastrophes were unfolding in Gaza and Iraq.

The former Africa minister said he was leaving the Foreign Office and standing down as an MP because the “intolerable” pressure on his family life. He is being replaced by James Duddridge, a former Government whip.

The unexpected resignation surprised many in Westminster coming months after Mr Simmonds had told his constituents in Boston and Skegness that he would stand for re-election. However, the minister insisted there was "nothing sinister" behind the announcement.

Mr Simmonds actually agreed to quit with David Cameron at last month’s Cabinet reshuffle. However it was delayed until Monday to allow him to chair a United Nations meeting on the Congo in New York last week.

There were claims that Mr Simmonds had resigned fearing a tough fight from the UK Independence Party at May's election, despite a 12,000 majority in 2010, although this was firmly denied by Mr Simmonds.

Mr Simmonds is paid £89,435 a year as a minister and MP and is entitled to £27,875 a year to rent and pay for a flat with him and his family.

However he said this did not “stretch” far enough and so he stayed in hotels during the week when he was in London. His wife is also paid up to £25,000 a year to act as his office manager.

In an interview with The Telegraph he said: “I have to stay in a different hotel room every week and any parent would hate that – and I do.

“The accommodation allowance needs to provide for families – and it doesn’t. When my children are on holiday they can’t come and stay with me in London - I can’t see them.”

“It has a really negative impact on the quality of life. I am not the only one who feels like this, but I am the only one at the moment who is doing anything about it.”

He said the new expenses system – which was reformed after the 2009 scandal which was exposed by the Telegraph - was putting people off from becoming MPs.
He said: “The pendulum has swung too far back the other way. It is almost impossible for an MP and a government minister with children to have a normal family life and that can only be a deterrent to people wanting to come into Parliament.”

Half as many people were applying to be MPs today compared in 2001, he said, adding that “the negative impact on family life is a significant part of that”.

He added: “If you want to attract normal people into Parliament to reflect the views of the population you have to got to put in place the support mechanisms to deliver that. I don’t believe those support mechanisms are in place and that is why I am going.”

Mr Simmonds later told the BBC he was standing down over the fear that he would not see his three children, who are aged 15, 13 and 12, grow up.
He said: “My children are growing up, my eldest daughter will be 21 by the time the 2020 election comes by and I don’t want her to turn around and say ‘I never saw my father, my daddy in that time’.”


He added that the thought of staying in a hotel every night, particularly when his children were on holidays, “just fills me with dread and horror”.
Mr Simmonds said he was not willing to live in the “outer reaches of London” where rents were more affordable.

Mr Simmonds’ claims that the allowances were not enough to support a family life were denied by the Parliamentary expenses watchdog, which last December recommended an 11 per cent pay rise for MPs after May's general election.

A spokesman for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said: “Ipsa is awake to the impact on family life for MPs who have to live in two locations – in London and the constituency. That is why we provide more support to MPs with family or caring responsibilities.”

An MP with three children like Mr Simmonds would be able to claim £27,875 a year “allowing them to rent a flat big enough to accommodate their children”, he said.

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据《每日电讯报》8月12日报道,英国外交国务大臣马克·西蒙兹已经离开政坛,并称近12万英镑的年薪(约123万元)在伦敦根本不够过活。

西蒙兹表示,自己辞去外交大臣及国会议员的职位,是因为不愿意总是呆在宾馆里,而家人却住在数百英里之外的林肯郡。

此前,外交部加沙事务负责人沃西女男爵因不支持英国政府在加沙的政策而辞职。

工党说,两人的辞职再加上加沙和伊拉克展开的人道主义危机使外交部陷入无人管理的状态。该党前党鞭詹姆斯·杜德里奇将接替西蒙兹的职位成为下一任非洲大臣。

西蒙兹此举让威斯敏斯特宫中的议员们大吃一惊,但他坚称他的辞职并无隐情。

据悉,西蒙兹之所以辞职,是因为他担心在明年五月的选举中与独立党会有一场“恶仗”要打。但他坚决否认这一说法。

西蒙兹作为外交部大臣和议员的年薪是8.94万英镑(约92.38万元)。另外还享受2.78万英镑(约28.79万元)租房补贴,用来缴纳他和他家人所住公寓的租金。作为他的业务经理,他的妻子也有2.5万英镑(约25.83万元)的年收入。然而,由于租房补贴的范围远“不够宽”,因此在工作日他通常都呆在伦敦的宾馆。

西蒙兹接受采访时说:“我不得不每周都呆在一个不同的宾馆里,家里有小孩的人都会讨厌这一点,我也不例外。”

他说:“住房补贴需要为整个家庭着想。但英国的住房补贴制度没有做到这一点。我的孩子们放假时却不能来伦敦和我呆在一起。我连我孩子的面都见不着。”

西蒙兹表示,新的补贴和报销制度正在让人们远离议员的职位。申请议员职位的人要比2001年减少了一半,主要在于这一职位对家庭生活的消极影响。他还补充说:“如果政府想要吸引一般的人到议会任职,代表人们群众发表心声,那么它应该有完善的保障机制。我不认为现行的这些保障机制是完善的,所以我辞职了。”

英国议会独立开支监察机构“独立国会标准局”否认了西蒙兹关于政府补贴不足以支撑家庭生活的说法。“独立国会标准局”的一名发言人说:“我们明白分居伦敦和选区两地的议员在生活上所受到的影响,所以我们给成家或有赡养义务的议员提供了更多支持。”

该名发言人说,像西蒙兹这样有三个小孩的议员,每年能获得2.78万英镑(约28.79万元)的租房补贴,这样一来,他们就“可以租一间够大的公寓给孩子们住”。


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