MPs allowances: the system is broke and we need to fix it

More rows about MPs allowances.

Today’s Metro picks up on the case of Geoff Hoon, who managed to claim an allowance for his (not-in-the-constituency) ‘constituency’ home, while living free in London as a Minister, and renting out his other London home. Proof that at least one member of the Government can manage public money… though sadly not for the public’s benefit.

Meanwhile, Claire Ward, the Labour MP for Watford, is another who finds the daily commute (16 minutes from Euston) too much to bear. And Tory MP Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell, 45 minutes from Victoria) not only claims for a second home allowance but also clocks up high travel expenses (over £10k in 2007-08).

To quote Nick Clegg, “It is clearly barmy for ministers to indulge in a form of double counting that enables them to enjoy two homes at the taxpayers’ expense. To say this is within the rules will only serve to convince the public that the rules are broken and need to be fixed as soon as possible.”

Islington escapes all this as we’re an inner London borough, so no second home allowances. However, other MP expenses such as postage and foreign travel should still be open to scrutiny.

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