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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Urgent action needed on MPs expenses

This morning's Times reports on a rather predictable poll that reveals that over two thirds of voters think that all or a majority of MPs abuse their expenses and allowances. Some 27 per cent say that all or nearly all MPs abuse the system, and 42 per cent think that a majority of MPs do so. By contrast, 20 per cent say that “a majority of MPs do not abuse the system, but many do”, while just 8 per cent say that very few MPs do.

In many ways MPs have brought this on themselves. They have relied on a lack of transparency so as to get away with murder. The steady drizzle of leaks has eroded public confidence in politicians.

Harriet Harman is promising reform but that is still some way off. The Commons authorities are promising publication in the summer but that seems a lifetime away in media terms. Unless drastic action is taken to lance this boil quickly then politics and the political system will suffer and that cannot be good for democracy.
System has already suffered. Most people believed all politicians were in it for themselves BEFORE this broke. This is only hardening already prevalent attitudes.
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