Many of the MPs who have been caught claiming phoney expenses in recent weeks have tried to excuse their behaviour by saying it was ‘within the rules’. Others have tried to make amends by paying the money back.The truth is that this is not good enough, not least because the MPs themselves made the rules.
It is no excuse for a public servant to say that immoral behaviour is within the rules. We expect them to know right from wrong, not what they can get away with. We expect our MPs to act with integrity.
Gordon Brown’s reforms will mean that the rules MPs have made to govern how they are paid will soon be out of date.
But integrity will never be out of date.
I want things done differently.
- MPs have chosen not to reveal the full details of their expenses, but have ‘blacked out’ crucial information. We need full disclosure.
- MPs have been allowed to make their own rules for far too long. The pay and expenses system must be governed by an independent body, and linked to salaries in the private sector.
- There should be no such thing as a ‘safe seat’. Every MP must risk losing their seat at every election. We need a fairer voting system which makes it harder for MPs to ‘get away with it’.
I am calling for root and branch reform of the political system. If you agree, please get in touch.
This is how local MP Mark Field’s expenses have been published. Vital information has been ‘blacked out’. I am calling for full disclosure when MPs spend taxpayer’s money.