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I see that having spent thousands trying not to divulge their expenses, lost the battle and beeen made to give detals under the Freedom of Information Act our beloved MPs are introducing a change in the Law next week to exempt themselves from the FOI.
My only surprise is that it took them so long
One law for them, hundreds for us....:-)
So by grouping expenses into categories e.g. Travel or accomodation and then removing the right to more information it will be easy disguise the fact that hotel bill for say £750.00 was for an expensive room/ suite for one night rather than several nights accomodation in a cheaper hotel. Or one train jorney first class rather than several ordinary class.
At the opposite end of the scale from Central Government Parish Councils ( along with other tiers of Local Government ) have been forced since 1 Januaery 2009 to advertise how the public can request information under the FOI in the minutist detail.
The only charges a Parish Council can make to cover its costs are a reasonable amnount
( usually 10p per page for photocopying plus P & P ). unless the amount of time it takes to reserach and supply the information exceeds £450.00 ( calculated at £25.00 per hour for the Clerks time ) in which case payment for the estimated time can be demanded in advance.
Most Parish Councils have very small budgets so proportionatly the cost to them in percentage terms of their overal funding is high.
Its a shame that MPs have seen fit once again to excempt themselves from scrutiny at the very same time they are promoting more openness and acountability at the local level
Don't do a I do, do as I tell you seems to be the phrase that fits best -- Again
A MP's anual salary is a fraction of a highly paid footballers weekly wage.
If you add up the salary of an MP an their expenses do they equal a top footballers weekly wage?
I know which is the better value.
The amounts of money involved are, in my opinion, irrelevant its the sheer hypocracy that gets to me.
The freedom of information act was introduced specifically to allow public access to this sort of information. Now that exceptions are being made, by the people who were responsible for introducing same act, what does it say to the rest of us?
Don't do as I do, do as I say!
And they wonder why some of us have stopped voting...
"What the government are planning to stop is the requirement to provide copies of every receipt submitted by MPs."
It works in Scotland. All MSPs' expenses are available on-line not just for voters but for the whole world to see.
Such as the £1m cost of copying MPs' receipts to put on-line (work that took a year to complete) and been so casually tossed aside by this decision to avoid scrutiny?
Peers are, on the other hand, publishing their expenses.
We have almost 700 MPs who cost the country, on average, approximately £250,000 each in salaries and expenses and enjoy around four months' holiday annually.
The Americans, whose population is around four times that of ours and live in a vastly larger country, somehow struggle along with around 450 equivalents of our MPs.
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