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Oct 2nd, 2014

MPs’ expenses: Keep them public!

By Amy Lockwood

Remember when we paid £2,115 to clean an MP’s moat? In 2009, many MPs were found to have abused taxpayers’ money by claiming outrageous expenses. Trust in our politicians crumbled…further. But despite this, you’ll never guess what they’re planning to do now.

An idea is being floated to hide the names of MPs whose expenses are being looked into. And make details of expenses less thorough. But our MPs work for us, so what they spend our money on is our business.

IPSA, the watchdog which sets the rules for MPs expenses, is asking for the public’s opinion before anything is set in stone. A huge people-powered petition demanding that politicians expenses are kept public could force the plans to be dropped. Can you sign it now? Click here to add your name.

IPSA says that this new level of secrecy aims to protect MPs from the “reputational damage” they would suffer because of “public scrutiny”. But reputation is built on trust, which comes with honesty and transparency, so this argument doesn’t add up.

And critics say that lack of transparency is what led to the 2009 expenses scandal. New secrecy rules would be a backwards step.

38 Degrees is a movement of people fighting to make democracy work. We hold our politicians to account and influence decision makers to make choices that benefit us all. If we’re serious about improving the trust we have in politicians, keeping expenses public is crucial.

Will you sign the petition now to keep all MPs’ expenses public? Click the here to sign the petition.

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