MP expenses bore

I really am getting bored with all this talk of MP’s expenses. The press have the bit between their teeth and unless there’s a royal scandal or a war, we can look forward to it continuing for a while yet. What amazes me is we’ve known MP’s abuse their expenses for years. Instances such as Margaret Beckett claiming £19,722 in 2002/2003 for a London housing allowance when she owns a house in her Derbyshire constituency which is free of mortgage, had a grace and favour flat in Admiralty House, funded by the taxpayer, and rented out her Westminster house. This has been widely known for years but no one’s really concerned themselves,
Suddenly Derek Conway is caught red handed and the press are portraying every MP as a crook. There is a reason why they do this, and a pretty easy solution to ending it as an issue.
Firstly there is the reason. Sixty thousand pounds isn’t really enough money to attract a decent calibre of MP. You either end up with incompetents, or people of independent wealth who can afford to pursue a parliamentary career.
Secondly there is the solution. Get rid of the housing and additional costs allowances and bung the wages up to £100k a year to end the fiddling. Have a historical guide for travel expenses and postage costs and make MP’s who go over this justify their expenses or pay for it themselves, and of course scrap the communications allowance.
In addition to this, reduce the number of MP’s. Bumping a constituency up to 95000-100000 over the next decade should be on the agenda. That way MP’s will have a workload which will mean they couldn’t cope without a proper staff, and the cost of Government will be going down. If we pursue a localism agenda, there will be less for them to do anyway.
I wonder if the speakers three wise men who are investigating this will have the guts to do this though!

PM Browns speech outside No. 10

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 Gordon Brown is now the new Prime Minister of the UK. To hear his first speech made outside 10 Downing Street, click the link below

Highlights include:-

  • A new Government with new priorities.
  • Strong in purpose, steadfast in will, resolute in action
  • Heard the need for change
  • I will build a Government that uses all the talents
  • I will try my utmost
  • Let the work of change begin