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Rob Callister

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2 hours ago, the stinking enigma said:

No wonder they are so keen on here to stop him posting his blog. Wouldn't want it to catch on

I doubt people are keen to stop him per see to be honest but perhaps there are those keen to see him stop publicly embarrassing himself with such pitiful and irrelevant bullshit every week. Moorhouse occasionally does a blog that’s not too bad and which usually has some actual facts in it. Personally I’d love to see someone like Chris Thomas do a blog as it would probably be interesting and relevant (if also very long). But he’s probably far too busy actually doing stuff for the people who voted for him rather than continually wasting hours writing a thoroughly boring and crap blog about absolutely nothing to pander to his own ego. 

Edited by thesultanofsheight
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5 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Oh no and I don't think it is done as a regular feature - there's no Manx GCHQ listening in to everyone's phone conversations.  But if an MHK's phone bills are being paid directly there will be some government department that will have access to a record of the calls[1].  Even if confidentiality is maintained, people may be put off contacting MHKs by the possibility of it being breached.

The dependency I referred to was more about the way it is expected (by both sides) that MHKs should have everything done for them and how this undermines their independence.  Of course a more serious example of this is how they are nearly all in receipt of extra money for government positions and the restrictions on their voting that this brings about.

 

[1]  Technically this should be Tynwald, which is not strictly speaking a part of government.  But it's possible that there is some form of central provision that puts control elsewhere.

Good call by RC then in having his own phone...

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57 minutes ago, Dave Hedgehog said:

Did anyone know he had a website before he mentioned the cost of having a website? 

We all knew about it because that's where his (in)famous blog appears (though it also goes up on Facebook).  We just didn't know it took £2,000 a year to maintain (I'd assumed last year's was set-up and design costs).

4 hours ago, thesultanofsheight said:

If you follow either Chris Thomas or Lawrie Hooper on Twitter that’s the best social media platform to use if you are intelligent and not afraid of a bit of friction on either side.

Twitter has its uses but it's not as popular as some other forms of social media and its demographic is a bit skewed (it's quite male for example).  I'm not a great fan of Facebook, but for a politician it's probably a better way to reach more people.  Even that has problems though, younger people tend to see it as being 'for grannies'.  There's no one all-encompassing platform - and if there was it would probably change over time.

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4 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

We just didn't know it took £2,000 a year to maintain (I'd assumed last year's was set-up and design costs).

Perhaps he has an expensive script writer? :lol:

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25 minutes ago, Grounds Keeper Willy said:

Perhaps he has an expensive script writer? :lol:

Or a cheap one paid by the word.

  • Haha 2

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Why doesn't somebody just explain to him the difference between expenses and General expenditure.

 

Edited by Holte End

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"£347.98 – IPA Pool Event, Bradford (hotel & flights etc)" - The honourable Rob MHK

"Happy to confirm that I travelled to the IPA World Champions in February (at my own expense), along with scheduling various meetings between the IPA and local hotels, travel agents and the tourism team in April." - The honourable Rob MHK
 

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56 minutes ago, slinkydevil said:

"£347.98 – IPA Pool Event, Bradford (hotel & flights etc)" - The honourable Rob MHK

"Happy to confirm that I travelled to the IPA World Champions in February (at my own expense), along with scheduling various meetings between the IPA and local hotels, travel agents and the tourism team in April." - The honourable Rob MHK
 

Good spot.

However, because of how the expenses are paid as an allowance that doesn't have to be accounted for, there's no real difference between, "out of my allowance" and "out of my wages". He doesn't have to spend the allowance on anything work related.

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9 minutes ago, Declan said:

Good spot.

However, because of how the expenses are paid as an allowance that doesn't have to be accounted for, there's no real difference between, "out of my allowance" and "out of my wages". He doesn't have to spend the allowance on anything work related.

But surely if you publicly said you were going to pay something out of your own pocket but then subsequently it was proved (by yourself ironically) that you had actually allocated it to work expenses that is sort of a bit of a lie isn’t it? 

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5 minutes ago, Grounds Keeper Willy said:

But surely if you publicly said you were going to pay something out of your own pocket but then subsequently it was proved (by yourself ironically) that you had actually allocated it to work expenses that is sort of a bit of a lie isn’t it? 

I think Declan's point is that it still did actually come out his own pocket.  So it's not a lie - just incredibly dumb. 

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9 hours ago, Cheesy Wheezy said:

 

You wouldn’t want to be his tax adviser though. Who makes charitable donations out of untaxed money? And you can get tax relief on professional subscriptions so why use your untaxed money here either?

Is that right?

Surely charitable donations are deductible whatever monies you use to make them.

and

Professional subs would only be deductible if "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" incurred for business purposes. Would that apply here? Assuming it does, why would using untaxed money to pay the subs deny a right to tax relief?

 

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Well, he's foolishly left himself open to ridicule by doing that.

But the reality is - it has come out of his pocket. Because that's where the expense allowance goes. He could just as easily have left the item of the list of claim expenditure and nothing would have changed. Follow the money...

  • Wages and allowance paid into Rob's bank account.
  • Rob's bank account pays out for him to go to the pool.

It doesn't matter if he chooses to call them expenses or not, because he doesn't have to spend a penny of the allowance on expenses and he still gets them. He doesn't have to explain how he spends them, he's one of the few that tries. The fact is the allowance is just a part of his wages.

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12 minutes ago, Phillip Dearden said:

Is that right?

Surely charitable donations are deductible whatever monies you use to make them.

and

Professional subs would only be deductible if "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" incurred for business purposes. Would that apply here? Assuming it does, why would using untaxed money to pay the subs deny a right to tax relief?

 

You're probably right. But that would require @Rob Callister to publicly claim that he's used the tax free "expenses" to pay for these things, and privately add them to his tax form, reducing his tax bill. I doubt he would be so two-faced. 

And I'm sure he wouldn't mind confirming that. 

Edited by Declan

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10 minutes ago, Declan said:

You're probably right. But that would require @Rob Callister to publicly claim that he's used the tax free "expenses" to pay for these things, and privately add them to his tax form, reducing his tax bill. I doubt he would be so two-faced. 

And I'm sure he wouldn't mind confirming that. 

No, I didn't add my professional fees onto my personal tax return.

As for the IPA trip, the funds came out of my personal bank account..... the alternative option was to ask DfE to cover the cost of the trip, but I didn't feel comfortable with that idea especially when I am given "expenses" each month....

I have always offered to finance any trips wherever possible, both on the Parliament and the Department level.  

People might not agree with the items that I have listed, but I remain the only Tynwald Member to try to explain how these funds have been spent each year.  

An independent committee is currently looking at MHK / MLC pay, including expenses - so hopefully I won't have to publish my expenses next year.

 

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