Sunday, May 10, 2009

Telegraph dining out on MPs expenses

The Telegraph - aside from the EEN and EDP, my paper of choice - is getting its monies worth out of the leaked MPs expenses and so they should. What has been going on is a national disgrace. That includes Labour, LibDems and Tories. I still don't think "they're all at it" but certainly now it is clear a lot of them are. So, what to do ...

... we can either sack the lot of them; out they go - Blears, Straw, Duncan, Smith, Barker, Follett et al - and all those who have broken if not the letter of the rules then the spirit ...

... or we very speedily change the system. I have suggested before how we might start this. No second homes allowances, no expenses maybe at all - just a decent wage for MPs (because, yes, we must pay them enough to attract high calibre candidates and make it worthwhile for working people to stand and win) and cut out the rest. Oh, and while we're at it - your main home is your constsituency home, full stop.

Because now the body politic is being damaged; canvassing for the last 3 days, it is clear this is impacting turnout and faith in our legislature. We need to sort this - and fast.

A bit of openess, honesty and simplicity would settle this whole affair.

So how about allowing each MP three members of staff - a secretary in Westminster, a constituency caseworker and a researcher, all employed by and paid for direct by the House of Commons. How about abolishing second homes and providing living accommodation in London for each MP that is paid for and owned by the Parliamentary estate (student halls, anyone?). How about MPs buying their own lunch, sink plugs and mock tudor beams?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Good ideas! We need to stop this opaque pocket-filling and perks gravy train on expenses. Good salary for a responsible job.

Isn't a pity Chelsea Barracks could not be rebuilt as MPs lodges; failing that we could always convert City Hall across the Thames or Buckingham Palace???

Personally I think there are too many MPs and this figure should be trimed to a round 600, from 646.

Want do you think Antony?

Transport is also an issue, especially Scottish /NI/Welsh MPs