Monday, February 11, 2008

They need to keep the brass shiny

There has it seems be a shocking new development in Westminster in relation to MP's allowances and expenses claim. News reaches me that there are proposals on the table for all MP's to claim back money, without a receipt, for the cost of their brass necks. As a reaction to stave off growing criticism about the so-called 'Additional Cost Allowance' and the way it can be used to fund a second home and scam the taxman (if you're an MP from outside inner-London) it is being suggested that the allowance be scrapped and the total value of the allowance be added to every single MP's salary no matter where their constituency.

Thus instead of the tremendous dodgy current situation where some 600 or so MP's can claim up to a figure but may not claim it all we will move to a much fairer and transparently honest system where it's assumed that all MP's deserve the entire value of allowance anyway in their pay packets. They would then all be able to keep their second homes and there would be harmonisation with the London MPs who were missing out on the extra-cash and unable to take advantage of rising markets and make a fat pile of cash on the side.

A sensible approach surely to go from a system where it can cost up to a maximum but doesn't always to one where you know the maximum is spent and the brass necks continue to be polished by the Filipino housemaids, no?


judith said...

Er, London MPs were also able to claim the second home allowance - to be fair, the MP could originate from another part of the country, so his London constituency would genuinely be his second home.

What grates is instances such as my former (Lab) MP who had lived 6 steps away from a Tube station for many years, just 50 mins from Westminster, nevertheless got a London flat with her full allowance; it was then occupied by her daughters and sold at a nice profit to her when she lost the seat after 8 years.

dizzy said...

Not according to the report I read this morning they can't. The ACA is available to those with constituencies outside inner-London. Not sure where inner-London ends and outer-London begins mind.

Rickytshirt said...

I like the current system as it relies on honesty.

I don't see the fact that it is open to abuse as a flaw because the buggers get found out eventually; Under another system we may never find out which of our MP's have tendencies for creative accountancy and is as bent as a 9 bob note.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe this stuff. Giving every MP an extra £22,000 a year for spending a few days a week in London is shocking.

The complete lack of accountability and transparency means that MPs can take the living expenses and spend it on themselves, which is an outrageous situation and yet another abuse of their privileges.

Anonymous said...

No extra money for MPs. Just accountability, transparency and honesty.