Almost two weeks ago, member of parliament Erik Bengtzboe, chairman of the moderates in Sörmland and the spokesperson for the labor market party, wrote a debate article together with two party officials in which he proposed a subsidy ceiling (Aftonbladet, 5/4). Now the same newspaper has announced that it has received more than 90,000 SEK in compensation from the Riksdag for double occupation and another 60,000 for others. The reason is that he is registered with his mother in Nyköping and not in Stockholm, where he actually lives with his wife and children.
From that point of view, someone may mean that we need an allowance for politicians. However, it is the wrong way to go.
Of course, members of parliament who do not live in Stockholm will be compensated for double housing. Not least because each member represents his or her place of residence and sometimes even sits on the city council or regional council. That made Erik Bengtzboe even the elections last fall.
Then it might be okay to register with his mother in Nyköping or in her summer cottage in Sorlock. Maybe you want to sit on the city council and feel that you have a stronger foundation in the region for which you are the district chair. Or you have the motivation that Bengtzboe wrote on Facebook: "Anyone who doesn't know me, my family and under the circumstances that I grew up with, will certainly find it strange that I lived in my house as long as I was and that we were in the family are in close contact with each other as we have ".
However, the message shows that he is misinterpreting the situation. The question is not whether it is appropriate to have Erik Bengtzboe register at home with his mother or in her summer house after he has turned 30. How long adults live with their parents is nothing that outsiders have to deal with. It would have been all right if Bengtzboe and his wife and children had been based on his parents' house in Nyköping or his mother's house and Bengtzboe then opened a weekly apartment in Stockholm for which the Riksdag paid.
But if he lives with his family in Stockholm, as the population address of the other family members suggests, and often visits his mother and / or summer cottage because of their close ties, the double accommodation is a private solution, which is not necessary because he will fulfill his mandate as a Member of Parliament. Then you have to pay the extra costs yourself and it is very much the person who represents a party whose mantra is to reduce the total contribution costs.
That is why the problem has not been solved, simply because Erik Bengtzboe is paying back money to the Riksdag and, as an extension, of the taxpayers, who are responsible for the salaries and benefits of the members. The problem when the media thinks that parliamentary politicians have created creative housing solutions that cost taxpayers more than necessary is precisely that politicians are a mission of trust and that little people are eroding confidence in politics and the democratic system.
This means that it is not enough for parliamentary politicians who request an additional allowance to investigate whether the neat agreement is legal. It is also important to ask whether it is reasonable.