It was announced (in hushed tones) that MPs will not be forced to publish the receipts for their expenses after all. This is of course disgraceful, and is a thumb in the eye of campaigners for greater openness from our MPs. It will make it a lot easier for MPs to siphon of Tax Payer Cash, increasing the likelihood of misappropriation. More worryingly it would seem the Freedom of Information Act can be, (or at least will be,) circumvented without debate in Parliament.
MPs seem to think they above everybody else.
Trying to slip important news like this out smacks of contempt of the voters; Jo Moore’s previous statements seem to have been taken by MPs as guidance rather than as cautionary. It is amazing that a Party that repeatedly demonstrates that it does not understand the fundamentals of Open Democracy, is charged with defending it.
One of the biggest costs to the tax payers from MPs is that of Second Housing. MP’s that are from Constituencies that are beyond a reasonable commute to and from Parliament can claim their mortgage payments on a second house back from Tax Payers. I would like to propose an altogether fairer and cheaper alternative.
Those MP’s that require weekday accommodation should no longer be able to claim mortgage repayments, but they should be free to reclaim the cost of renting a council house from within The London Boundary.
Council Housing is cheaper per month, than I would imagine the mortgage payment on an Islington Town House. There are other benefits. As it would be reclaimed, the MP would need to assure that they can afford the initial payment in the first place. Also, living among ordinary families and people who are struggling to make their bills, MPs will have a greater appreciation for the day-to-day trials facing the population. Standards of Council Housing would likely soar in the coming years.
It will also be harder for claims of £1,600 for window cleaning and £1,920 for a Pergola (whatever the hell that is?) to be slipped through. If the Kitchen is not up to scratch, don’t charge the Tax Payer thousands of pounds, call the council and they will get someone out.
Actually, I would expect such a recommendation would be more likely supported by a Labour Government, rather than a Conservative Government. I wonder if they will take me up on the idea?