MP’s payments start a political debate
Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya says she is putting her money where her mouth and will pay £800 from her MP’s salary towards bulky waste collections in parts of Peterborough. It’s not clear yet how long she intends to maintain the payments and she is working on alternative means to ensure the additional collections are made. Many will see it as a noble gesture that is rarely seen in politicians ... paying to solve a problem themselves while they work on a long term solution. Others will see it as naive, starting something it might be difficult to maintain. It certainly won’t be the answer to many problems that are brought to Miss Onasanya by constituents - unless she has access to funds we don’t know about. Certainly expecting politicians at any level to start dipping into personal funds to sort out what they see as urgent issues is a trend that is unlikely to catch on locally or nationally. Council budgets are being cut, services are being streamlined and, in many cases, charges are being made for things which used to be done for nothing. Finding creative ways to tackle these issues - like getting business support and sponsorship is a laudable idea.
But whether you see Miss Onasanya’s financial gesture as a gimmick and political posturing or as a selfless and generous solution from a new politician who genuinely wants to do good... there’s no argument that her decision is putting the issue into very sharp focus and, at least in the short term, something is being done about an issue which troubles many.