Having squillions of cash clearly entitles a chap to offer profound advice to the great unwashed who can only touch their forelocks in gratitude. Our first sage is Richard Benyon.
“..(who) stands to inherit an estimated £110 million from the 20,000-acre Englefield Estate in Berkshire, which is owned by his father, Sir William, according to The Times’s Daily Rich List.
As part of an annual tradition dating back to 1581, Mr Benyon has handed loaves to villagers in Ufton Nervet from the windows of the family’s manor house.
Mr Benyon, a Tory minister in the Department for Environment, said earlier this week that households were wasting up to £50 a month by needlessly throwing away “enormous amounts of food”. Sunday Telegraph 28/4/13
“Benyon's advice may be sound. His intentions may be of the best. But poverty-stricken families just one step away from the food bank may ponder if Benyon knows whereof he speaks. He is the wealthiest MP in the Commons with a family fortune of £110m.
He is on a reasonable salary of £107,108 as MP and Government Minister.
Plus the ability to make lavish expense claims, including a £400 a month allowance for buying food, no receipts required. Why should MPs vote themselves such a substantial perk? Why can't they fund their daily calorific intake from their own pockets as the rest of us do?” Tom Shields, Herald 28/4/13
Sage number two is our old friend Iain Duncan-Smith. He recently provoked one of the fastest e-petitions ever with his claim that he could easily live on £53 a week. A claim he has singularly failed to follow up.
He is in the news today for asking ‘wealthy’ pensioners to hand back benefits such as the winter fuel payment, free bus pass and TV licence. It is an interesting concept.
He may wish to explore his idea further with his many millionaire chums in the Cabinet. Would they consider themselves ‘wealthy’ and if so, what would they give up? Ministerial cars? Second home allowance/mortgage assistance? Free food?
How heartening it is for us oiks to have such words of wisdom graciously dispensed from two fine upstanding examples of Tory manhood.