"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

What Are They Thinking?

Do MPs think we've forgotten about the expenses scandals? Did they think we wouldn't notice this?

Secret, un-minuted committee meeting; no public announcement; no debate in Parliament; no receipts; no tax.

The meeting of the Members Estimate Committee, apparently one of the most powerful in Parliament, was chaired by Speaker Bercow - you remember him; he's the one who called himself the 'clean-break' candidate and got in on a ticket of reform and transparency.

As well as Bercow, the committee comprises Harridan Harman, Leader of the House; Alan Duncan, her Conservative shadow; Sir Stuart Bell, close Labour ally of Michael Martin; David Maclean, Conservative, and Nick Harvey, LibDem.

Under the system, how MPs spend the money will not be subject to public scrutiny. The rules state: “Members... may claim a [daily] flat-rate sum of £25 for subsistence. No receipts are necessary for this claim to be made. How members spend the subsistence allowance is for them to decide.”

They've been doing this since March - two months before the Telegraph broke the story about their expenses. Ex-Speaker Martin, oversaw its introduction but Bercow and the committee gave final approval.

It's yet another rule for us and another for MPs when it comes to complying with HMRC. What's happened to Gordon Brown's promise of 'root and branch reform' of the expenses system? No wonder we're all mad as hell.
UPDATE: Here's a blogpost from Gary Gibbon which outlines Sir Christopher Kelly's views on the matter.


  1. Bunch of corrupt hoons. The general election cannot come soon enough.

    Labour should be voted out, they are the party in power while this is happening.

    If the Tory's win, they should take note of how Labour are losing seats, and the same thing can happen to them unless they cut expenses right down or cut out the expenses system completely, the greedy piggy's. The power has gone to their heads and they can't give up the gravy, it has corrupted them beyond saving, even when they try to reform, they cannot reform to save their lives. They have it too good, and it's spoiled our MPs.

    Oinkers. They are all as bad as one another, but Labour are the first amongst equals since they are in parliamentary government. The voters should make an example of them, when given the chance.

  2. It is scary how under wraps this is. I doubt it will run but it would be great if every Constituency said their sitting MP will not be adopted if they sign up to membership of this new troughers club!

  3. They've been able to claim it since March this year! How cosy. I've just added an update about Sir Christoper Kelly's views - roll on October when his report will be published.


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