.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The elephant in the room

Although the Queen's speech yesterday was very much a non-event the glaring omission was clearly any statement of intent regarding MP's expenses. It is the case of course that the government has said that they will accept the Christopher Kelly review in full, but having made that statement there also appears to be a bit of back-sliding all round.

It would have been useful therefore to have had her Majesty make a clear statement of intent as part of her speech. After all the whole thing only lasted six minutes, it is not as if she was pushed for time. Sir Christopher Kelly himself, certainly thinks so.

He said that it was important for the new Parliament due to be elected next spring to start with a "clean sheet" and he protested that the "relatively straightforward" legislation essential to establishing the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which will police MPs' expenses, was absent from the package.

The Independent believes that the Prime Minister has decided that legislation on expenses would distract from Labour's key pre-election messages on education, social care and curbing bankers' bonuses. If this is the case then Gordon Brown is more out of touch than I thought.

The one subject which is occupying most people's minds is the expenses' issue. It will not go away until is properly dealt with. If we go into the General Election with no 'closure' on this issue then a very expensive price will be paid by those perceived to be obstacles to reform.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?