Tuesday, 27 May 2008

And while I'm ranting...

Just how do any MPs think that they are going to make the public respect them more when they propose to institutionalise expenses fiddles.

Rather than MPs having to justify what they spend on second homes and so on, the proposal is to give every single one of them a tax free £23,000 lump sum every year and do away with the need for receipts.

So the very rich and those who have been MPs such a long time that they have bought their second home outright will just pocket the cash (it's like a £40,000 pay rise). The rest will be freed from the burden of having to justify what the cash went on (and the embarrassment of being found to have paid a lot to your window cleaner).

It's quite obvious that the public think that all MPs are on the fiddle. I know most aren't, so why confirm the public's view by abandoning all the paperwork.

MPs fully deserve a decent salary and enough expenses to enable them to do the job well. I have never understood why the Commons forces each MP to duplicate much of the same expense - such as IT support - which inevitably causes more paperwork and more expense. But if they are spending public money then they should do so carefully and be forced to justify it.

The biggest gripe comes over second homes. Perhaps the idea of a central London accommodation block which all MPs are given a flat in - rent free - is the best solution after all. Any other system seems open to abuse.

When in hole, stop digging. Transparency and prudent spending is the way out of the mess, not more obfuscation.

1 comment:

Lee Griffin said...

haha, now this I definitely agree with you on. Talk about following the same hymn sheet. ;)