MPs Expenses – Classic British Fudge

There is a very valid allegation that Nadine Dorries makes, that will get drowned out in the backlash from her wilder comments. The expenses system was designed to give MPs an underhand pay rise, when a real one would have caused public anger. Nadine Dorries claims that until 2005, MPs were actively encouraged to view expenses as part of their normal salary, and the fees office actively helped. According to Iain Dale, that same fees office have privately apologized to Labour MP Ben Chapman for advice given to him on his mortgage arrangements. Dale also made a post that Ken Livingstone has alleged that the Labour Whips actively encouraged MPs to see second home allowances a supplement to their salary. They therefore encouraged MPs to claim the maximum.


If Dorries’s allegation is true. then the current expenses system was put in to deceive the electorate about with the true level of MPs pay. In so doing it encourages a culture of dishonesty and self-serving that should be alien to the political class. It also shows that rather than a few MPs troughing off their own, both the fees office and the political parties actively encouraged their MPs to participate. This could be most damaging for the Labour party who have done least to make a clean break with past practices.

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