Monday, 29 October 2012

Payback Time


I was encouraged by a report in The Telegraph newspaper the other day - a follow up piece to its recent expose on MPs' expenses.

See post dated 19 October 2012: MPs' Expenses.

Only this time the story has a different twist because the second Telegraph report says that the Labour MP - Linda Riordan - seems to have put her hands up and has offered to pay back the profit on her flat sale.

Yes, the one bought with public money under the old MPs' expense regime - and which she had been renting to a fellow Labour MP.

Now this seems like a eminently sensible suggestion to me - and only fair.

Because why should the taxpayer have been keeping a roof over the MPs head while down in London - only for the said MP to hold on to the profits some of these properties have generated in recent years?

Some of them running to hundreds of thousands of pounds - which haven't been earned in any proper sense by the MPs involved of course - they just been handed a giant windfall by the taxpayer.

Which is as good a definition of the 'something for nothing culture' that's attracted so much public criticism recently - and rightly so.

So why doesn't the Labour leader - Ed Miliband - take a lead and demand that all Labour MPs who have, or will, profit in this way - hand back their 'ill gotten' gains? 

Now that would show leadership and by doing the right thing - Labour would force all the other political parties to do the same.