Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Insufficient & Undemocratic

The so-called reforms announced yesterday by Messrs Brown and Martin are totally unacceptable and if MPs vote to accept them today, then those voting in favour must be held accountable by their individual electorates.

One aspect of these reforms which stands out is the omission of any mention of the profit that may be made on the sale of a second home, said profit which will have been secured using our, the people's, money. A further point is where is the logic in allowing MPs, most of which have betrayed the 'spirit' of the rules, electing one of their number to the role of Speaker? If this present Parliament is to elect one of their number then it must be from a pool of MPs who have only claimed for rent/mortgage interest and utility bills or from those who have not submitted any claims.

With the creation of this Independent Statutory Body the question arises of who watches the watchers? This move emasculates Parliament and will result in that which the European Union wishes, namely a reduction in the power of national parliaments.

David Cameron's continual call for a General election is nothing more than calling for something which will result in his and his party's accession to power and does nothing to 'fix' the problems still existing, as I attempted to explain yesterday.

It can only be repeated - this is totally unacceptable and the only method to control MPs expenses and allowances is for them to only be able to claim for rent/mortgage interest, utility bills and council tax; for them to publish on-line their claims as they are made so that their electorate can view and question them and for a re-call system to be introduced. The latter would ensure that MPs represent their constituencies, rather than kow-towing to their party as is presently the case.

Until Britain recognises and understands the benefits of direct democracy problems, such as we have at present, will continue to exist and MPs will continue to ignore those that fund their lifestyles!

1 comment:

TheFatBigot said...

I'm glad to find someone else addressing the profit issue.

For all the noise about plasma televisions, new sanitary suites in duck-egg blue and sink pugs, those items do not give an MP a substantial gain. The objection is that far too many of these items were not wholly exclusively and necessarily incurred in order to allow MPs to do their work. That is a fair objection but it does not involve rampant profiteering.

The purchase of a property at any time prior to about 2004 will result in the owner holding an asset worth more in cash terms than it was when bought. Requiring them to pay CGT on sale is a smokescreen. To the extent that the taxpayer paid for the property, the taxpayer should receive the profit. If an MP chipped-in to the purchase price as well (whether by way of deposit, contributions to mortgage interest or paying-off a chunk of the outstanding mortgage loan) it is only fair that they should realise a proportion of profit equivalent to the percentage of the purchase price they paid.

But it is wholly unacceptable for any MP to receive any part of a profit that has accrued as a direct result of the taxpayer's capital being invested in a property.