Thursday, 30 July 2009

MPs get free chocolate

Cadbury's are to be congratulated on their decision to make Dairy Milk, their biggest selling brand, Fair Trade (although not for their decision to close their Keynsham factory, but that's another issue).

Wanting to be sure MPs didn't miss the announcement, the company has written to all of us individually, enclosing a bar of said chocolate. Unfortunately their timing left something to be desired, with the letters arriving the day after most MPs had left Westminster for the summer. By the time I got to see the letter, the chocolate had already mysteriously vanished. My researcher pleads in her defence the fact I can't eat milk chocolate anyway. I will reluctantly concede that she has a point, but I suspect there will be an awful lot of other researchers who decide to eat the chocolate and hide the letter so they don't get found out.

Actually, this raises another issue, about the recently mooted suggestion - or has it come into effect? I lose track of these things - that MPs should from now onwards have to register all gifts or hospitality, not just those over the £25 mark. Do we all have to declare that we got a free bar of chocolate? Even if the researcher has eaten it?


David Love said...

Do gifts to researchers (or other staff) not get recorded/published some how?

David Love said...

Pedantry alert
and what constitutes a gift? I mean if someone says "can I get you a coffee" and they have to pay for it, does that count? If your researcher buys you a coffee, even if you bought them one yesterday?

Kerry said...

I think certainly if a researcher was invited on what is known in common parlance as 'a jolly' it would have to be declared. Not that it happens very often. Researchers buying the coffee doesn't happen very often either! (And of course, nor should it given the way we work them).

Sir George Young raised the Q of what would happen if his wife was given a bunch of flowers; will have to check what the conclusion was.

Terence said...

Aha! Chocolate as a sweetener. It's as if you've moved into a world on par with Tony Soprano.
I am currently working on photoshopping a picture of your delightfulness, and fixing in an image of a Crunchie. I'll be offering it to the Daily Mail for £50,000.00

Kerry said...

I think the Mail would be absolutely delighted to catch me eating something non-vegan. Why not go the whole way and make it a kebab?

Terence said...

Do many restaurants cater for vegans? Does veganism give you 'problems' when invited to events (that is, what used to be called the 'rubber chicken circuit')? x

anarchyintheuk said...

Of course you should register it, as anyone else has to. Corporate gifts above thresholds are taxable for regular punters, but you wouldn't understand the legislation you passed on this issue would you? Cadburys also should register these gifts.

But of course civil servants won't pursue MPs, nor Cadbury, because you are all so above the law.

As far as the question of Coffee, once again, you passed legislation which means if an employer supplies drinks, they need to be declared, but with your tax payer subsidised bar, of course you haven't got a clue.

Remember Remember said...

On a more serious (and relevant) note
Why have MPs been getting a food allowance??? (Particularly since the HoC food is subsidised already). In the real world adults have to pay for their own food.