31 March 2009

Smith should have gone yesterday



For the second day running the headlines are awful regarding MPs expenses and allowances.  This is not exactly what Brown wants in the lead up to G20.

Brown showed misjudgement yesterday in not demanding Jacqui Smith’s resignation over her expense claims.  He was behind the curve on whole issue, as it wasn't until last night that Brown announced that he wanted to scrap the second home allowance and replace this with a flat-rate payment for overnight stays.  All Brown is doing is reacting to events rather than setting the agenda on this matter.

To cap a sad day for politics, there are claims that £300,000 is being offered for MPs expense receipts.

There has been too much prevarication over this whole sad business.  It should not need a committee to deliberate for months on end.  As Nick Clegg rightly said yesterday, the three party leaders can met and decide what to do within days.

There is real public anger over this sordid saga which will fester and grow.  Real leadership is now called for to settle the outrageous expenses and allowances that MPs can claim, which no one outside Westminster is entitled to.

There must be no further excuses and delays to putting MPs expenses and allowances in line with normal private sector business practice.  Only when this happens will public trust in politicians begin to be rebuilt.

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