MPs expenses – they still don’t get it

After all the publicity and fuss I suspect that many members of Parliament still do not fully understand the depth and intensity of public anger about their expenses. This is not an issue where the public wants to move on or has the slightest intention of moving on. The latest round of disclosures leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many. Mr Brown seems to have spent £12,000 more than the new official thinks reasonable, mostly on cleaning his second home.

Many of us wonder why Mr Brown thought it right that the public should pay anything towards his cleaning. Similarly with gardening expenses, it is hard to understand the logic of taxpayers paying these bills. No one has offered a rational explanation of why cleaning costs are considered legitimate expenses. I have no doubt that cleaning their constituency offices, where the public go, is a reasonable expense but home cleaners?

Hastily, all the party leaders are recommending that Members of Parliament pay up without quibbling; this is the least that they can do and is probably the minimum standard of behaviour now required by the public.

It is odd that no one has raised the issue of interest. An over claim on expenses, when repaid amounts in effect to the repayment of a debt. Why are not members of parliament offering to pay interest on these amounts? If we go into unauthorised overdraft territory in our bank accounts we will be paying very large interests rates. If we borrow from certain credit cards we will be paying usurious rates of interest. If we incur a judgement debt after court proceedings we will be paying interest. It is hard to understand why the honourable members are immune from the matters that their constituents have to bear.

It is also odd that Ms Jacqui Smith, the former Home Secretary has not yet been asked to pay back the £112,000 (with interest) that she took. She stood before the House of Commons and apologised for some of this. She accepted that she should have used her discretion to change her second home designation. From this does it not follow that she should now, having exercised her discretion wrongly, pay back the money with interest?

Perhaps on all these matters the electorate will decide.

6 Responses

  1. Robert would you agree with a company Sweden using rabbits as biomass for heating plants:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8309156.stm !

    I think it is really cruel . I had to check and no it’s not April the 1st !
    Certainly it is ‘Renewable’ Energy’ but is it ethical ? !

    • When I first heard this I thought that it was the First of April with all these bunnies around!

      No, we shouldn’t burn animals – there are better alternatives like solar!

  2. This is fraud and they should be charged with fraud, if I or any normal person fiddled the system so they took money from the taxpayer that they were not entitled too, we would have to do more than just say we were sorry and that we had exercised our discretion wrongly.

  3. I agree it is fraud and they [ The MP’s ] should be liable to be prosecuted also they cannot say they are ignorant of the law can they ? ! [ this is the similar to the situation with Baroness Scotland and her housemaid and this lawmaker gave the excuse of ignorance when she broke her own law ? They claim money for housemaids then employ people without a visa ! However who would run the country because parliament would be somewhat empty after they had all been arrested !

    Also the European Union is paying the Swedish company to burn rabbits, it is part of the BIOMAL scheme! The company is Konvex http://www.konvex.info/index.php?id=52 however the site is in Swedish here is the translation:
    http://tinyurl.com/Konvex-Biomal-trans and the EU Biomal website : http://www.biomal.com/

  4. It is very rare to see millionaires going to prison, and like the many QC’s and barristers amongst the top ruling elite, they are immune to suit, which is why they should not be in a position of public power.

    However if a way of bringing these people to book could be found then a landmark case could ensue and the rule books might be changed for the better.

    Until then its going to be slapped wrist, give some of the funds back and it life as per usual.

    Me or you will be eating porridge I afraid.

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