MPs expenses

I hear this afternoon that the government has decided to withdraw its proposal to partially exempt MPs from FOI requests concerning expenses.

I am very pleased they have seen sense over this. As I have been telling constituents, I do not support such a move.

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11 Comments

  1. mikestallard
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    My late father used to say – don’t look at the hands, watch what’s going on behind the magician’s back.
    The hands are telling us that the government is not what we thought – nicking our expenses. Wow!
    Behind the back, all sorts of economic mistakes are going ahead undiscussed.
    The scandal is that, while parliament is wasting time on silly expenses, the economy is not even being mentioned. This is an old Communist tactic, I believe. Parks and Gardens were being discussed at length during the invasion of Hungary (1956).

  2. pauldavies
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Are there any circumstances in which you can envisage that the government can be forced to have a general election rather than waiting for Brown to decide – Basically how can we stop this incompetent, (unflattering word) from totally destroying the British Economy?

    Reply: No realistic ones. If we could win a vote of No Confidence he woudldhave to go, but Labour MPs are not going to help us do that. I guess if he decided it was all beyond him or if he had some other personal reason he could resign.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Pleased that you are not in approval of the Governments scheme to hide expenses.

    Transparent Government and its costs we need more of.

    Bet the expenses list is the only one that no one wants to head at least in the Press.

    Well done for being very low down on the list and for giving good value.

  4. A man in the street
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    As President Obama said in his inauguration speech: “And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

    It is time our bankrupt Government woke up and smelt the coffee as they say in the US!

    It is time for a vigorous cut in wasteful public spending, e.g the £400m wasted by DWP as revealed in response to your colleague Mark Harper’s PQ. It time to strengthen the NAO, give them some real teeth like the US GAO, start publishing Gateway reviews and generally get some light and transparency into the stygian depths of Government departments.

  5. Dave
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe that the government saw sense, I believe that they saw defeat and rebellion. They would have required to force their own MPs to vote for a measure against their will and risk a rebellion.

  6. skooch
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    John –

    Has the gov withdrawn it, or delayed it?

    I don’t think we have to worry, because the bloggers are on to it and won’t let it go. See:

    http://www.mysociety.org/

    Of which I’m sure you’re aware.

  7. Ian Jones
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Finally, some democracy at work! I’m sure it will embarrass a lot of MP’s on all sides but hopefully it will make them think about what they are expensing!

  8. simon p
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    John, if things turn out extremely badly… would it be possible by an Act of Parliament to have Gordon Brown denied a MP/PM’s pension. The state pension will be sufficient.

    Reply: There is no majority for such action.

  9. A_Mullinder
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Here’s the point: If MPs have nothing to hide, there’s nothing to exempt. Just what were they so afraid of?

  10. Roger Pearse
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Good to hear. But… when will you make your expenses accessible online, as Douglas Carswell and co have done?

    Reply: They are through theyworkforyou.com

    • Roger Pearse
      Posted January 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Excellent.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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