Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Petition: MPs must publish expenses in full

Whilst the Telegraph's expose on MPs' expenses has blown open a lot of scandals, we must not forget that we are still only slightly less in the dark than we were before they did so. Whilst 50-something MPs have been picked out so far, there will undoubtedly be more dodgy dealing, home flipping, rule bending and outright theft buried in the rest of the 1.2 million expenses receipts themselves.

For all the talk of new watchdogs, audit units or quangos, the best way to scrutinise these receipts is by publishing them all, in full detail for the taxpaying public to see. Even after repeated defeats in the Information Tribunals and the High Court over Heather Brooke's valiant campaign to force the publication of this data, the Commons authorities are still dragging their feet. Worse, the details they do plan to publish will not include the addresses of MPs' second homes - meaning that we won't be able to find out who has bought four different houses in one year, whether anyone has revamped a property at taxpayers' expense just before selling it for a massive profit or whether any other piggy has indulged in the same troughing as Margaret Moran by billing the people for a home miles away from her constituency.

The TaxPayers' Alliance has teamed up with Heather Brooke to launch an online petition demanding full publication of the expenses receipts immediately, and guaranteed publication in future. You can sign it here - please do so and circulate it to your friends, family and colleagues. It's our money, it's our Parliament, so we have a right to see what has been claimed.

12 comments:

Rob said...

How the FUCK can you get £800 a month for EIGHTEEN MONTHS and not notice it?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8049096.stm

The BBC in the original report expended desperate energy spinning this as a 'mistake'. You must be rolling in it to not notice where £16,000 came from. Personally, I'm slightly sceptical.

One for PC Plod, if he can get off his lazy fat arse and do something.

kein said...

neca eos omnes
deus suos agnoscet

Anonymous said...

It seems the Daily Mail is joining the Taxpayers alliance in steps to launch private prosecutions of the thieving scoundrels (as the vibes are that the police seem reluctant to do the right thing about this stuff after getting burnt by cash for coronets).
Go get the barstewards, I say.

Could these arrogant scum actually face justice at last? Believe it when it happens.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, let's start paying local councillors for their public service, and thereby also ensure that they are not- like their Westminster counterparts- abusing the system. I know many local councillors who are active in local politics, putting many long hours into local affairs and who also get paid for supposedly working full-time in Third Sector organisations, creating not only conflicts of interests between their different roles but also forcing the Third Sector to subsidize their public/political roles: one well-known example is Labour Councillor Antonia Bance working with Oxfam's UK poverty programme. The whole system needs over-hauling!

Gareth said...

I disagree Anon. We should not start upping pay and perks to some more professional level until politicians at all levels can behave professionally; have robust systems for the public to remove people, be transparent about their cost to the taxpayer and be completely transparent about their outside interests in the private and public sector.

But above all else they must first realise what their duty to us is. It is not to enrich themselves. It is not to retreat into a bubble of backscratching, scheming and plotting. Nor is it to abuse the authority vested in them.

Had we more decent and upstanding MPs they wouldn't be going through the wringer now - far more would admit their expenses openly (and be able to argue their neccessity - something the current crop cannot do so try to hide them). It shouldn't have needed the attention of Heather Brooke and the Telegraph to drag this issue into the open. They have had nearly a decade to set things right. Too many of them either believed it was someone else's responsibility or hid under Squeaker Martin's grubby attire.

What have they been waiting for?

Rob said...

BTW, Elliot Morley was claimin £800 to cover interest on his mortgage. If his mortgage was interest-only, and the interest rate was 5%, this means the mortgage was £192,000.

This is the mortgage he 'forgot' he had paid off: £192,000. Those underpaid MPs, eh?

Dave H said...

It's just occured to me that if he ever gets to be an MP, I would like to see DK become Speaker. He would be performing a important function on behalf of the UK population.

"Order, order, you thieving cunts!"

John Lancaster said...

Surely the anger raised by this issue makes it sufficiently plain to us all that a General election is the best way to draw a line under this shameful scandal. Before the next Parliament, civil servants must draw up a new Swedish-style expenses system and reform the Fees office. The pigs will be untroughed, and those that get in will know that their lifestyle will be that of a servant and not a master. Funnily enough the toffs actually understand this.

Alan B said...

Dr Richard Tayor, Independent and Health Concern MP for Wyre Forest has published his expenses in full at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandworcester/content/articles/2009/05/16/richard_taylor_accounts_feature.shtml

According to the BBC site he is the first MP in the Midlands - and one of only three nationally - to allow his expenses to be fully scrutinised by the public.

Last year he came 640th out of 644 MPs.

Alan B said...

Sorry. Can anyone help with the url above?? I copied and pasted so I have done something wrong somewhere?

SoldDownTheRiver said...

Other petitions:
Call a general election http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/GoToCountryNow/
Please Go, Gordon http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/please-go/

Francis said...

Also you might ask your MP (Mooching Pig?) to back Douglas Carswell's motion of "no confidence" in the speaker.

See here amongst other places.