Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Carswell takes the hint...

Yesterday, I prodded Douglas Carswell over his indignation over the attempts by MPs to conceal their expenses.
Also missing from your post is a promise to publish all of your expenses, regardless of what the FoI law says, on your website. Will you undertake to do this?

Or is this simply another MP urging others to "do as I say, not do as I do"...?

And, as if on cue (surely I flatter myself), Douglas has posted the following on his blog today.
This week the Westminster establishment will try to pass a law that would exempt MPs from the Freedom of Information Act and allow MP expenses to remain secret.

I've had enough of this farce. I decided over the weekend that at the end of this financial year (April 2009), I'll be publishing a detailed breakdown of all the things I've claimed for as an MP over the year. Want to see what I spend on travel or rent? I'm going to put it on-line for all to see.

My colleague, Ben Wallace MP, had the courage to show the way, and I now intend to follow his lead.

Good stuff, Douglas: we look forward to seeing how you've accounted for every penny. What with you and Ben, there's only another 644 of you to go...

UPDATE: Douglas has emailed to inform me that that he only saw my prodding post after he had pledged to publish his expenses. Still, I'd rather take a spontaneously honest MP over a boost your humble Devil's ego...!

18 comments:

cartermagna said...

I've had a pop at my MP but I sure as shit don't expect a satisfactory response. It'll be some crap I'm sure.

Idle Pen Pusher said...

We shall see...

cartermagna said...

I'll lay you a pound to a pinch of shit that the honourable member for WOlverhampton South West will vote exactly the way he's told to by number 10. This man's got form for doing what he's told...

Vindico said...

DK, I've written to my mp over at http://harryaldridge.wordpress.com

I calculate that, the Commons authorities having spent over £1m on attempting to log the receipts, that this equates to £1,500 per MP. At £7.50/hr that is 200 hours. If somebody can process (data input and scan) a receipt in, say, 10 minutes, that is 6 per hour, 1,200 in 200 hours, or more than 23 per week!

I can't see how it can cost so much money to make this info available.

Letters From A Tory said...

What's that saying - something about an iceberg and the tip of it?

cartermagna said...

Vindico, That's the point. It will save the tax payer money but cost the MP... That is what they mean is so expensive.

David Curry (Conservative, Skipton and Ripon), and gave this reply to a constituent: "I am sorry but I believe you are wrong. No-one is trying to conceal expenses. It is a question as to what is a sensible level of detail.

Anybody else think that shows that he's got something to hide?

Guthrum said...

That sounds like a campaign !

Gawain Towler said...

Do we really need every cup of coffee? The horror will be the discovery that most of them are deeply dull individuals without imagination.

Though transparency is all very well the amount of time, also paid by the taxpayer mark you, spent detailing all the minutiae is hardly productive is it?

There again seeing as they only dael with about 20% of the laws passed in our land I guess it would be more productive than most things that they do.

Jules said...

it's simple. do what anyone on self assessment does. catalogue your income and expenditure, then give the figures to your accountant to reconcile and submit. then make them available for public scrutiny on the web.

i really can't see what the problem is - other than the public finding out just how profligate they are and just how much they suckle off the public tit. no wonder they're by and large uncomfortable.

Crossfire said...

Michael Gove MP publishes his on his website also.

Thortung The Terrible said...

Written to Michael Ancram, no idea how he'll vote currently

The bastards that vote for this need to be given as much exposure as possible

Old Holborn said...

Brooks Newmark MP, Westminster Village Idiot, duly mailed

BulloPill said...

I've emailed my MP, Peter Luff, Mid-Worcestershire. Whilst I hope he'll do the right thing, a detailed risk assessment shows that I shouldn't hold my breath!

WV: furch

Scott Wichall said...

I sent an email to my MP, hon Michael Wills, and he already publishes his expenses on his website so I shall await his reply!

Longrider said...

here is an alternative viewpoint. Enjoy...

Anonymous said...

Vindico- wouldn't the cost/hours be something to do with the foi's limit of 'disproportionate effort', currently billed at 20+ hours or £450 so i believe.

Anonymous said...

Bear Kieran Thank you for your email re the above. You will know that until a Labour Government there was no Rights ofFreedom of Information. There is no such proposal before the Commons toexempt MP's as you believe or as the Lib/Dems would have you believe.The question for debate is about how best information can be collated,produced and made available to the public. Yours sincerely Jim Hood

crackers said...

Emailed MP Milton but no reply as yet.

The cost argument is spurious. The reality is this. If receipts be published,the cost of processing will be outweighed by a fall in claims.

Name and shame always works.