"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."

Thursday, 10 June 2010

MPs' Expenses

I heard on the early morning radio news that MPs have now been told then may legitimately exceed their expenses limits if  they can provide receipts.  It's already dropped out of the news schedule and I can find no mention online but if I can find a verifiable link I'll post it later.

It seems to me that, little by little, they're going back to their old ways and that nothing much has changed except the superficial rhetoric on tightening up the rules and punishing abuse.  Considering so many of them were caught out abusing the system via flippping and CGT avoidance I'm surprised they were still returned at the election.

This problem hasn't been resolved and it hasn't gone away.  Already, the tough language used when the troughing first came to light is being watered down and the very few who are charged with criminal offences continue to take the mickey by claiming Parliamentary Privilege under the 1689 Bill of Rights.  Morley, Chaytor and Devine are having the first stages of their Southwark trial held in camera so there's no transparency or public right to know there.

UPDATE:  Here's a reference in the Evening Standard.  It doesn't say anything about providing receipts, simply that MPs would have to prove their need.

UPDATE:  11 June - Claim to be immune from prosecution under Parliamentary Privilege rejected 

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