Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday 13 May 2009

"Pay It Back" campaign - great results

What we have been arguing for with the "Pay It Back" campaign is now happening all across the political spectrum. As Constantly Furious points out today, Government Minister Phil Hope has now pledged to pay back £41,709 for claims he made that went beyond the spirit of the rules and Margaret Moran and Hazel Blears have also pledged to pay back aubstantial amounts. On top of this David Cameron has insisted that Tory MPs also do so under threat of expulsion from the party.

Make no mistake, if it was not for the general public outcry and demands from the blogosphere like ours for these actions to be taken, they would not be happening. Our campaigning makes a difference.

There are still lots of MPs however who have not paid back anything and who should be looking hard at their claims and doing so. Even the ones that have not been made public yet as they surely will. They should pre-empt this and offer to pay back money now.

So please sign our petition and keep the pressure on them. Job half-done I would say so far!


Anonymous said...

IS this just MPs or all Parliamentarians who are being requested in this to pay it back?

Mark Thompson said...

Yes, although I said MPs I include peers in this as they are members of parliament too. There seems to be much less problem with them generally though, or maybe it just hasn't come out!

dazmando said...

Mps should pay there expenses back where its not inthe course of business but I do think they should be paid a decent wage so we don't end up with just trade union sponsored or rich people only. It must still be worth while for the non wealthy to become an mp and professional people too who would be paid more in the world of buisness

Mark Thompson said...

Yes, I totally agree. I was actually going to do a post about this at some point.

The thing is, £64,000 per year is a huge salary to most people and the idea that a salary like that would exclude the poor is not correct in my view.

However, there is a danger that if the pendulum swings too far against expenses then MPs might struggle to pay for the upkeep of two homes. That's why I think Nick Clegg has it right that you should just claim for what is needed to stay in a home in London, nothing more and any capital gains upon sale of the property revert to the tax payer. I still think ultimately some sort of halls of residence would be most cost effective but that is for the future.

If the pendulum does swing too far the other way, MPs have only got themselves to blame. They should have sorted this out years ago, but it would be wrong to exclude all but the independently weatlhy and I would campaign just as hard to ensure that does not happen.

Anonymous said...