Monday, November 02, 2009

Remember, Remember the 4th of November

Remember when Parliament ran into the expenses crisis there was a hope, Sir Christopher Kelly's report.

All the party leaders have spoken in favour of accepting the recommendations Nick Clegg, David Cameron even Gordon Brown made a Commons statement stressing that all party's had agreed accept the further Kelly recommendations providing they 'meet the tests of increased transparency, accountability and reduced costs for the taxpayer'. However, now it appears that Harriet Harman is preparing to water the proposals down.

The areas they are looking to water down are some of the most abused and some of those where tough changes in the rules are most needed. The second homes profiteering, the employee of family members not all able to give the time they were paid for, the commutable second home claimants. The last of these is of course something that all the Greater London Lib Dem MPs have shown is not only doable but achievable. Like many other London employees even those that work long hours they know they can get home at the end of the day.

So why the stalling, why the change of tack. Are the proposals Harman is objecting to any less transparent, accountable or reducing tax payers expenses? The only one that may reduce costs is paying second home mortgage payments rather than rental value. However, when it comes to transparency and accountability even this scores high as it shows that MPs will not be profiting at tax payers expenses on their London, or elsewhere property portfolio.

Kelly reports officially on Wednesday, though there have been leaks, so I feel there may be a need for new verse coming along to a famous poem.

So remember, remember the fourth of November,
MPs expenses and plot.
I know of no reason,
Why Kelly's propositions,
Should not ahead as report'd.

1 comment:

subrosa said...

I'd like to bring this to your attention Stephen. The SPCB has decided MSPs can claim for Remembrance Day wreathes on expenses. I'm spitting tacks and would be delighted if you thought the subject worthy of a post.


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