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Parliamentarians, Michael Dugher included, are entitled to some of our money to assist them in their parliamentary duties.
However, when I spotted these tweets from @Michael DugherMP, I mistook this to be an example of the attitudes to the use of our money common amongst MPs in that, they have little understanding of the rules and appear contemptuous of them!
Michael sent us this Tweet in clarification.
Rotherham Politics is a twitter user @rothpolitics.
Many MPs including two of Rotherham’s own, Denis MacShane and Kevin Barron have done little but complain and lobby behind the scenes, they don’t want their constituents to know this of course, for changes to allow more ‘flexibility’. They could be heard around Westminster, moaning and complaining ad nauseum.
These two, among the least open of MPs when it comes to explaining their use of our money, were, up to the new system was introduced, among the largest claimers. They have reversed this and are currently bottom of the order.
The only significant change to the system, apart from putting the system on-line was the requirement for proper receipts, demonstrating that the expenditure had actually happened! What’s the matter with that? I can hear you say. Proving that you actually spent the money, whatever next!
The kind of receipts habitually presented by MPs has for a long time been a farce with the most extraordinarily thin paperwork. We now know, that where it did not exist, MPs simply created their own! We see this approach in the last posting about David Chaytor the forger! Perhaps this explains MPs reticence to claim?
These changes announced today will only end in disaster, because ‘flexibility’ will be misused by these greedy, dishonest MPs still sitting in the House enjoying reputations they do not deserve.
These changes must be reversed! They will end in tears and more scandal, as the system is ‘worked’ to yield maximum benefit! Giving them credit cards will definitely be a disaster, if Rotherham’s previous experience of this kind of thing, is repeated in Parliament. Disaster indeed! If the current MPs don’t like it, they know what they can do!
Denis MacShane, is still upset about the new expenses regime that might just put an end to his greed by exposing his imaginative use of the definitions in the Green Book to allow claims that should not have been allowed under the old regime but were allowed under the regime administered by the previous Speaker Martin, who is reputed to have promised relaxation of the claiming rules as part of his campaign to become Speaker. Fill your boots seems to have become the order of the day under Martin and they did!
Extract from Hansard:
Denis MacShane (Rotherham, Labour)
“On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Sir, if you go out into the corridors around here, you will find closed circuit television cameras being installed in the Central Lobby and other corridors that are normally private to Members. Is this known to you? Some people say that it is just to do with the Pope’s visit, and that is perfectly reasonable, but if that is so, can we be sure that the cameras are taken down? I love the surveillance society. I am not sure whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has an investment in making sure that we are all here and that we are going to our restaurants and coming out with the appropriate bills, but I do not like CCTV cameras in this our House of Commons.”
All Parliamentarians must understand now that we are watching them closely and will challenge each and every example of greed that we discover.
The past is gone but not forgotten. In the cases of Eric Illsley, a serving Labour MP and the Ex Labour MP’s, Elliott Morley, Jim Devine and David Chaytor as well as Tories Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor, they are grinding through the criminal justice system. Undoubtedly there will be more to follow these six, they cannot be the only ones to have allegedly acted in a fraudulent and dishonest way, we shall see!
There are more Parliamentarians from both Houses whose greed and manipulation of the rules is yet to be exposed. No one who has been guilty of this should relax, as the people are on their case!