Monday, 11 May 2009

MP's Expenses

The recent revelations in the Daily Telegraph about the sort of things some MP's have been claiming expenses for drags the whole political system into the gutter. It is no use MP's demanding a police enquiry into who leaked, the focus should be on the greed and downright opportunism of so many MP's using the system to feather their own nests. Just because "it was within the rules" does not mean that it was morally right, or even morally acceptable. Claims for light bulbs, dog food and lawnmowers are wholly unacceptable.

My preferred solution is that accomodation should be provided for MP's in London and then the whole second home claim can be scrapped without any problems. I have no objection to the provided accomodation being comfortably furnished - MP's are after all there to do an important job and I don't require them to wear hair shirts for it. I note from his last e-mail that Nick Palmer MP now agrees with me - I suggested this to him at a debate we had recently. There are two possible venues for this - the County Hall Hotel directly over the river from Parliament (this was Nick's suggestion and I'll give credit where it is due) or alternatively this may be a good use to put part of the Olympic village to after the 2012 games have concluded (not an original idea of mine but I can't recall who first suggested it to me - thank you if it was you).

If this doesn't happen then my pledge is that, if elected as an MP, I will rent (not buy) a modest property in London and I will publish all my expenses claims on my own web site at least quarterly. I will not claim for normal living expenses not connected with my work.