"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, 15 June 2010

MPs Shamed Into Apology

Some of the MPs who have abused staff at IPSA have written letters of apology.  Here are the main points of the article in the new-look  Times (behind a registration wall but, for a limited time, free)
"Sir Ian Kennedy, the head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) reveals today how he complained to Sir George Young, the Leader of the Commons, and party whips over the “level of hostility” that his staff have experienced.

MPs have made angry phone calls to staff at Ipsa lasting up to an hour, amid signs that a hard core of 20 to 30 MPs “don’t want to understand” the new expenses system.
Sir Ian also reveals today that:
• Ipsa is willing to pay expenses to Sinn Féin’s five MPs, despite their decision not to take their seats in the Commons. This comes a week after the Leader of the House suggested that the decision was at the discretion of Ipsa.
• MPs will now be allowed to take business-class flights if they cost less than their standard class counterparts, lifting a rigid ban imposed on any business-class travel.
• MPs will be given face-to-face advice surgeries with officials starting in September. At the moment advice is given largely via a telephone helpline and e-mail. But, despite the complaints of MPs, he believes that “it’s not a complicated expenses system”.
Sir Ian, whose 55 permanent and 20 temporary staff are working to oversee the expenses of 650 MPs and 2,500 staff, made clear that he had little sympathy for MPs. He indicated that he had no intention of backing down in his drive to force them to adjust to the new system — described by one MP yesterday as a war.
 Asked whether a handful, dozens or scores of MPs had apologised for their behaviour, Sir Ian replied “not scores”.
“I have been surprised at the level of noise, and to a degree the level of hostility, in some bordering on rudeness, from a small minority of MPs. It’s not fair on staff and it’s not what I would think the electorate regards as appropriate behaviour,” he said.
Sir Ian has declined to put a figure on the number of MPs who are reluctant to adjust to the new system, but said that 57 had failed to hand over details of their bank accounts before their salary was paid on May 28. They had to be paid by cheque. Yesterday 27 had still failed to submit their bank details. "
 Click to enlarge

5 comments:

  1. the last image says it all hun!

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  2. Perhaps the MPs in question realised that antagonizing the very people who decide on borderline claims might not be so clever.

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  3. They don't seem to have learned much do they, Angel?

    They don't seem to realise they're antagonizing the electorate as well, Banned. People really have no sympathy for this sort of behaviour ("angry phone calls lasting up to an hour"). No wonder Nigel Gooding stepped down.

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  4. Tom Harris, when complaining about IPSA, said, "It is not yet known whether the IPSA official in question is even physically capable of performing the act the MP then requested of him, or even if it is legal within the United Kingdom."

    Imagine if one of us mere mortals said something like that to somebody in the Tax/passport/'any government' office!

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  5. I think we'd be having our collars felt, Mrs R, and we'd be 'escorted from the premises' pretty quickly! No doubt we'd end up with a criminal record as well.

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