Site Meter

Monday, March 21, 2011

MPs claim it is unfair not to be allowed to fiddle expenses

MPs claim it is unfair not to be allowed to fiddle expenses

MPs' expenses: strict new rules to be eased

The rules governing MPs’ expenses are to be relaxed this week following months of complaints that the current system is unfair.

By By Robert Winnett Deputy Political Editor 6:40AM GMT 21 Mar 2011

Politicians are expected to be given lump sum payments up front and will be able to use taxpayer-funded credit cards for their expenses.

Several MPs living in commuter areas around London will also be allowed to claim for a second home.

The reforms, expected to be announced by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), come after complaints from MPs over the operation of the new expenses system.

MPs have said it is too bureaucratic and legitimate claims are being blocked.

David Cameron has effectively ordered Ipsa to introduce a new regime before Easter or else face Government-imposed changes. However, the relaxation of the rules, within a year of their introduction, will bring fears of another scandal.

It is now thought MPs will soon be given money up front for “predictable” expenses with expenditure then audited.

Charlotte Linacre of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “The point of Ipsa is to get more control of MPs’ spending, not to lose it totally.

“Handing them cash in the hope they’ll explain how they splurged later is ridiculous.”

Ipsa was introduced after the expenses scandal. MPs were forced to repay more than £1 million in unjustified expense claims and the police are still investigating several people.

Some MPs are today also expected to attempt to block Government plans to freeze their pay next year.

The issue will be debated in the House of Commons with some arguing that an independent body should have the final say on setting pay.

Comment: There is no democracy in Parliament when the backbench 1922 committee dictates to David Cameron in a secret meeting. His orders were that he curb the power of IPSA and curb the power of the European Court of Human Rights. In a democracy David Cameron would not have such power to curb either of these. But, we live in a dictatorship.

Whilst people are distracted by what is going on in Libya, MPs are picking the pockets of the taxpayers like Fagin's children in Oliver Twist. Having been caught out once, and in spite of the public being told that they would rehabilitate themselves they have continued to reoffend.

What was wrong about the system in the first place was that MPs were allowed to write their own rules. So, they wrote them with an eye to self enrichment at the public expense. The monitoring was deliberate weak to facilitate the theft. When the expenses scandal erupted, the public were assured that new rules would be written and that the MPs would be subjected to oversight by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

That the backbench 1922 committee can overrule IPSA and tell it to allow them to carry on fiddling expenses as before proves that it is not independent at all. The Thieves Parliament are writing the rules again in their favour. The very people who claim that convicted prisoners by their conduct have lost the moral authority to vote have lost the moral authority to govern.

No comments: