Monday, May 11, 2009

Proposal For Legislation

One of the joys of having a blog is that sometimes I can have an idea and just put it out there to see what people think.

Today, I have mostly been thinking about new legislation...

How about getting a law proposed that says that any MP who has fraudulently or inappropriately claimed for expenses, [such as garden furniture or dog food] must pay back the money within 30 days. We can hold a public forum which can decide what the people consider to be justified and what is considered excessive... This list could then be used as a template for a future expenses system.

The legislation could go onto, [ahem], "Nationalise" the assets purchased by MP's through their expense claims, so as to ensure that these ill-gotten property portfolios which have been funded from public funds can be either sold and funds returned to the public purse or immediately made available as council housing.

An immediate audit would be required, and powers to seize assets pending investigation. A specific list of acceptable expenses moving forwards will be made public, with the requirement of ALL receipts to be published via the Internet. Any expense above £100 must be approved bythe fees office, in advance of expenditure to be eligible for a refund.

In the meantime, all MP's who require a permanent second house in the vicinity of Parliament shall be added to the Westminster council housing list, and those who require occasional accommodation shall be advised on local, reasonably priced hotels.

And of course, any MP suspected to have committed fraud shall have their receipts and financial details scrutinised by the Fraud Office or SOCA, depending on the circumstances of the evidence.

Should 5% of the sitting 646 MP's have their cases referred for criminal investigation, the legislation will require the Prime Minister to immediately dissolve Parliament and call for a General Election.

I am open to suggestions and amendments - and even more open should any MP wish to actually raise this in the house.


David Boothroyd said...

"all MP's who require a permanent second house in the vicinity of Parliament shall be added to the Westminster council housing list" - oh no you don't. Not when we have such pressure on social housing in Westminster, and that caused by Shirley Porter deliberately selling off council homes to help the Conservative Party.

PS you can't retrospectively criminalize anything anyway.

Daniel1979 said...


My guess is that if 200 to 300 MPs were to suddenly be added to the Council House lists in London a lot more funding for Council housing might suddenly become available and further funding for improvements available for all.

Just as we demand the same standard from MPs with their conduct, if they were required to live amongst ordinary Londoners special treatment for their houses would be unacceptable. I would imagine there would be a lot of political pressure for wholesale improvements.

I can only of course speculate, but I see a logic there.

Tarquin said...

As much as we'd love to do the MPs for fraud, it's unlikely any will get done over because they acted 'within the rules' - unless someone deceived the fees office they are innocent

It's not right, but as David says you can't retrospectively criminalise anything - but I'm glad Hattie's 'court of public opinion' is biting her in the arse

The only solution is to not vote for these people, and I fear a lot will get let off the hook