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British M.P.'s May Lose Residence Perk - NYTimes.com

LONDON -- After a string of embarrassing revelations about expense claims by members of Parliament, Prime Minister Gordon Brown proposed Tuesday that the expense-account system be overhauled "to restore people's confidence that M.P.'s are there to serve the public and not themselves."

Legislators in the House of Commons are the beneficiaries of an array of perks and reimbursements, all of them perfectly legal, for expenses associated with running their offices, traveling between London and their districts, and having homes in both places. Members of Parliament earn base salaries of $92,795. In a recent 12-month period, they claimed an average of nearly $200,000 in expenses.

It emerged this month that the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, regularly claims that her sister's house in London, where she rents a room when Parliament is in session, is her primary residence. That has allowed Ms. Smith to draw the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in the so-called second-home allowance for the house in Worcestershire, where her family lives and where she lives during weekends and the long stretches when Parliament is not sitting.

by Fran on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 02:07:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they are losing one set of perks and replacing them with another set. It's classic distraction.

They have been caught with their hands in the till too often, so they have to be seen to wear the hair shirt of contrition for a bit. Then once the dust has settled and we all look away, they';ll simply be at it again, only in a different way.

there is no chance, no chance at all, that the gravy train will be derailed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shouldn't Jacqui Smith resign over this?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:59:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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