Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hazel Blears: Expense system is wrong!

Apparently Hazel Blears thinks the expense system is wrong.

Well it is the one parliament voted for.

We have Hazel Blears claiming a second home is a second home to get hold of taxpayers money, whilst calling it a primary residence when it is time to pay the tax.

We have Jack Straw claiming his full council tax on a second home which he was claiming council tax relief on. Were he an ordinary voter he would be charged, and in all likely hood convicted.

There is nothing wrong with the expenses system other than it assumes members of parliament are honourable.

Clearly some are and clearly some are not.

The only reform the system needs is that the expenses are published in full with address details. Any other reform is likely to be at the expense of the sort of transparency we need to ensure that MP's are behaving honourably.

The BBC has this and this.


Chris said...

I think you are being unfair towards Jack Straw who is by no means my favourite minister but seemed to have made an honest mistake with his council tax and paid back the money when he realised.

Anonymous said...

Chris is wrong - you don't make that sort of mistake 5 years running and only realise when you know this info is to be made public!

Anonymous said...

should Hazel Blears pay back the money she did not originally pay in Capital Gains Tax? I think so! If it were anyone other than an MP we would get penalised and then forced to pay it back. Why should it be any different for her? or any other MP for that matter?

Benedict White said...

Chris, I agree with Anonymous, this was a serial mistake only noticed when it was obvious he would be found out.

That said, to be fair to jack, he was not quite so thick as to not realise immeadiately that he would be found out he ought to make amends before he actually was.

To the other anonymous, Hazel has now paid it back..

Or at least we have seen lots of people writing cheques today. Can we get some transparency over whether the funds have been received?