Thursday, 18 June 2009

MP's Allowances Published Online

Documents and receipts relating to MPs' allowances are published today on the parliament website.

From today the public will be able to view printed documents and receipts relating to MPs’ claims dating back to 2004/05 and up to 2007/08.
The expenses claims of every MP for the past four years have been published, but, ironically with some key details not shown. The Commons authorities have published the details after the long-running Freedom of Information battle.
Addresses and correspondence that claims relate to have been removed for privacy and security reasons.
This means it is not possible to see if MPs "flipped" second homes which is a main part of the Daily Telegraph's revelations from its leaked version of the data. This news comes on the same day that Kitty Ussher, a Treasury minister, has been forced to resign after avoiding paying up to £17,000 in tax on the sale of her constituency home. Another case of "acting within the rules", in other words getting as much as you can by keeping as much as you can secret.
Nick Robinson of the BBC has said that if the database was all the public could see and the full uncensored claims had not been leaked then MPs like Miss Ussher would still be in their jobs.

Is this a step in the right direction towards full openness and transparency... or another attempt to pacify the public and keep them quiet ?

Seems to me it's like saying "Here, take my bank card, but there is no chance you are having the pin number " !

For our very own Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP ....

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