Monday, 12 October 2009

Pay back time or maybe not

In the post bag of Members of Parliament this morning will be a letter that most will not want to receive - a bill. Not any ordinary bill but a letter from Sir Thomas Legg.
He has been auditing their expense claims for the last 5 years and it is believed will tell them to hand back the cash or justify their claims afresh.
It is thought 500 MPs of all paries are in Sir Thomas's frame for being to greedy.
But many MPs are outraged at such demands. As they see it, they played by the rules of the game at the time. Now they don't see why they should have to dip their hands into their pockets now that the rules have changed. All be it that they drew up the rules in the first place.
It is reckoned that about 200 MPs will refuse to pay. This will ensure that the controversy on MPs expenses will rumble on up to and beyond the next general election. A nightmare prospect for Gordon Brown.
So much for cleaning up their act and making a fresh start. This will do nothing to rehabilitate politicians in the eyes of the public.
In contrast, the National Assembly have a measure going through the Senedd this week which aims to strengthen the powers of the Standards Commissioner. These new powers will put a duty on the Standards Commissioner to promote and encourage best practice amongst Assembly Members.
Again the Assembly are showing themselves to be more sure footed than MPs in reading the public mood. Wheras MPs still don't seem to get it.

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