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MPs' expenses: Telegraph investigation exposes all

  hssutton 22:34 07 May 2009

The telegraph should make interesting reading on Friday.

Jack Straw claimed back twice as much for his council tax as he had actually paid.

He later repaid the money and apologised for the error. :)

click here

  Forum Editor 09:43 10 May 2009

There's no pomposity in what I said - you clearly do not understand the situation. If you "can understand what's going on" why did you say earlier that MPs 'fiddled like pigs at the trough', and have now changed your story to 'bending the rules to get bucket loads of extra cash'? Bending a rule isn't fiddling, but you don't seem to understand that, at any rate.

Nobody - certainly not me - has ever said that MPs weren't exploiting the expenses system; the fact that some of them have done so is obvious. That can be sorted out quite quickly, but if we are to avoid such situations arising in the future we need to look very carefully at the way our legislators are rewarded. I'll repeat what I said earlier, and what I have said on many occasions, which is that if we want high quality MPs we must pay them appropriately, otherwise we'll get what we've got now, which is a house with a large number of mediocre self servers. There are some first-rate MPs, but they are sadly outnumbered by the other sort.

We have only ourselves to blame, but no doubt you'll fail to agree, and blame it all on what you call the 'ruling class'.

  hssutton 09:58 10 May 2009

I see from the news both print and TV that our dearly beloved PM (well not by me) is taking a real hammering in the opinion polls, but I must admit to a little sympathy for him, as he only inherited the system from his previous master.

  namtas 10:14 10 May 2009

"What's becoming quite clear is that this mess has arisen because public opinion was perceived to be against paying an appropriate salary so other ways to pay MPs were found"
Total codswallup,
Show me where is there an inch of evidence to support this statement? and since when did it become justifiable or excusable for anyone to bend the rules to justify a self perceived income shortfall.

  oresome 10:20 10 May 2009

"but I must admit to a little sympathy for him, as he only inherited the system from his previous master."

This is the problem. We have a leader who is being lead by events and we get a little tired of everything being kicked into the long grass while a report is commissioned.

The guy was the same as Chancellor. Always out of the way when his opinion on a difficult decision was sought. As a leader you can't sit on the fence to see which way the wind is blowing all the time. You need to formulate the policy and persuade your own party and the electorate that it's the way to go. He lacks the communication skills.

  Armchair 10:22 10 May 2009

What irks me about the whole debacle is the fact that the unemployed are expected to start jobs that pay minimum wage (ie £5.73 an hour), which amounts to a gross salary of less than £12k a year for a 40 hour week. Some of these MPs are claiming more than that just to re-decorate their flats. It's all wrong.

  namtas 10:30 10 May 2009

FE "Bending a rule isn't fiddling" I am sure many less well educated people and perhaps even some who are well educated might well see no distinction between fiddling and bending the rules, at the end of the day would we all prefer that we used the word manipulation.
And what ever twist we put on it. you know, and I know that what is coming out appears in many cases if the alleged cases reported are true to be a misuse of public funds and like the reported horse manure "wreaks"

  Quickbeam 10:46 10 May 2009

I'm sure the next election will return the 'New Tories' on a near if not a complete landslide majority.

For one and a half Parliaments they will be reasonably squeaky clean, then the rot and megalomania will set in. In ten years you will be able and glad to return a 'New & Improved' Labour party having forgotten everything that went pear shaped in the previous New Labour era just as we seem to have forgotten everything that went pear shaped in the post Thatcher period.

"What goes around comes around."... too right.

  Armchair 10:50 10 May 2009

No way I'd want the Conservative party in power again.

  laurie53 11:10 10 May 2009

How do you think they got to be wealthy in the first pace?

Certainly not by hard graft in a steel mill!

  carver 12:36 10 May 2009

What I can not understand is the deliberate bending of the rules until nearly into blatant fraud click here , now I might have read it wrong but this lady lives in her house for 5 years, becomes an MP then expects us to pay for work on her house.

There is no excuse for taking money,my money, your money, and misusing it to make a profit for their own gain.

Whether they get the correct pay is immaterial, they are there because we voted them in, and they should be expected to not only obey the rules but believe in them.

The double standard of these people beggers belief, you have them spouting about how every body should pay their fair share of tax and how it's wrong to avoid paying because of loop holes then they do the exact same thing, one difference being that they have not earned that money, they just claim it.

It's no wonder they tried every trick going to avoid these things coming out in full view of the public.

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