Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Time For MPs to Follow the Same Rules As Me & You

It's not been a good few days for the reputation of parliament or parliamentarians. First the brouhaha over the publishing of MPs' expenses and in the past couple of days the whole Derek Conway debacle.

Immediately the calls have come in for expenses to be slashed and for MPs to be barred from employing family members. As usual the reaction is an over-reaction. There is no need to bring in draconian measures, just treat MPs the same as the rest of us.

When I claim expenses from work I'm expected to hand in receipts. So don't slash MPs' expenses, just make them hand in receipts. Seems reasonable.

And there's no need to stop MPs employing family members, it's actually understandable wanting to have staff that you know you can trust 100%, but perhaps there should be less variation in the salary scales and an independent review and appraisal process in Parliament.

As with most things there's little need for new rules, just a little better enforcement of current ones.

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