Thursday, January 22, 2009

Labour climbdown on MPs expenses

The government have backed down, at least for now, on their dreadful proposal to change the law so as to exempt MPs expenses from the same Freedom of Information requirements they imposed on everyone else.

The taxpayers are the people who fund parliament, which is there to represent the interests of all British citizens, and the public have a right to know that their taxes are being properly spent. It's perfectly reasonable that MPs should have the same sort of responsibility to account for how they have spent taxpayer's money that any other public body would have, and the same sort of measures should be in place that anyone in a properly run business would expect to find.


Richard said...

Strange comment. Anywho - Margaret Beckett lost the competitive edge on the Daily Politics yesterday. It was nothing either and she turned into your mum after you've spent hours fighting your brother or something - very odd. I'd always thought she was less of a muppet than most but that exhibition shocked me.

I think there's a bit of low politics in all of this but, hopefully, fingers crossed - the means may justify the ends.

Chris Whiteside said...

I "moderated" (e.g. removed) the original first comment on this thread - apart from being, as Richard rightly says, quite strange, it was irrelevant to the post and looked like a commercial advert.

I think what's going on here is that Labour belatedly realised that any MP who voted to exempt himself or herself from the Freedom of Information requirements which MPs have imposed on everyone else would risk being crucified for it by the electorate.

So far so good but we need to keep an eye on them: and if we win the next election the voters will be equally entitled to keep an eye on us.