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Burying Bad News - MPs Expenses

 
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RockitRon



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 7646

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Burying Bad News - MPs Expenses Reply with quote

On the day that the controversial third runway at Heathrow was approved, and the City and Government had another bad turn over the banking system, it was quietly announced that MPs will next week vote on a proposal to block publication of their expenses claims, and exempt them from the Freedom of Information legislation, thereby preventing the public from seeing a full breakdown of what our elected representatives are claiming by way of expenses and allowances.

Under the new plans, the House of Commons will publish general details, under 26 headings, but specific expenses, such as the 1,920 claimed by Margaret Beckett for plants at her Derbyshire home, and 1,600 for cleaning Stevenage MP Barbara Follett's windows will not.

It won't surprise many people that the sponsor of the move is Harriet Harman, who says "the public will have more information than ever before, and we are taking it back to 2005 so that, for all Members each year their allowances against 26 headings will be made public".

Freedom of Information Campaigner Heather Brooke, who won a legal battle to secure the publication of a full breakdown of expenses for 14 high-profile MPs, condemned the decision as "outrageous". She told the BBC: "This is the problem with the Parliamentary system if they don't like the law, they can just change it, unlike the rest of us. It's a way to change the law without having a public debate."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-good-day-to-bury-bad-news-on-mps-expenses-1380396.html

I don't see why any of the MPs expenditure should be kept secret from those who pay for them - there is a principle of accountability at stake.
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Ron
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MadeinSurrey



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3130
Location: The Beautiful South

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Completely agree Ron, and I am amazed at this head-in-the-sand attitude.
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MiS
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iwarburton



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 2133
Location: Northumberland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is utterly disgraceful. The rest of us have all had to prepare a new publication scheme, effective from 1 January 2009, to the usual derisorily short deadline. And the Scottish Parliament is complying with the Act. Why should our own lords and masters be exempt?

Ian.
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mark occomore



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 9955
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the Banks been bailed out by the Tax Payer. I think we should know what the MP's are spending our cash on.
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