Prime Minister Gordon Brown today suggested scrapping the controversial eight home allowance for MPs.
'Eight may be just too much for the taxpayer to finance', he said, 'seven houses is enough for anyone, even an MP. And I myself have only six houses, three cars, 28 secretaries, an ocean-going yacht, and own half of Patagonia. So I am setting an example of prudence to the nation, and to the Commons.'
The announcement follows Home Secretary Jacqui Smith (not to be confused with the famous soft porn star of the same name)'s claiming allowances for eight houses, seven flats, six bungalows, five gold rings, four iffy videos, three foreign holidays, two limousines, and a part share in a goldmine.
Miss Smith, aged 52 and a quarter percent tax refund, said: 'At no time did I break any rules, all MPS can claim for such essential things. And yes, I am a Miss, thankfully!'
But Opposition leader David Cameron disagreed with the PM's suggestion. 'Mr Speaker', he said in the House, 'does this government really expect me to agree with it about anything? And does it notice I never actually really say anything? ['Hear, hear!] And does it laugh at the once-great Tory Party reduced to this?'
And Mr Brown replied: 'Seven homes are all that are needed. Of course, this is just a suggestion, it's not as if we're actually going to do anything about it! [laughter] Once Jacqui's out of the news then it's back to eight houses plus a silver-plated trough for all MPs, that valiantly debate this issue but manage to make it peter out slowly, without taking any action over it.'
Miss Smith was seen in her local Blockbustas store, browsing through the adult movie section.