Thursday, 23 April 2009

Accountability - the missing link in MPs expenses

So Gordon Brown thinks replacing second home expenses with an attendance allowance will fix the outrageous misuse of public money by MPs claiming expenses? In football parlance, he must be 'having a laugh'.

As most private sector employees know the main reason not to fiddle your expenses is that your boss has to sign them off and if there is anything awry you can be fired! That doesn't completely stop people trying, but it certainly acts as a sharp deterrent.

So assuming MPs end up with a sensible expenses policy (like the rest us - say use of the centrally purchased local Novotel when in town, free meals in the House of Commons canteen, second class travel from the constituency), all that is needed is for the bills they submit to be approved prior to payment by the people they work for.

And who do MPs work for? You and me. So let us pick a group of say 12 people for each MP (like a jury randomly from the local electoral roll), refresh a third of them every six months, and have them agree any expenses before payment.

Then watch the costs reduce!

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