Magazine article Public Finance

Climb-Down on MPs' Expenses

Magazine article Public Finance

Climb-Down on MPs' Expenses

Article excerpt

The government has abandoned plans to force through a controversial vote exempting MPs from the Freedom of Information Act and the obligation to disclose details of their expenses.

The vote - which was to be subject to a three-line whip on January 22 - was shelved after it emerged at Prime Minister s Questions the previous day that the Conservatives would not support it.

The plans to overturn a High Court ruling that 1.2 million receipts be made available to the public were announced by Commons leader Harriet Harman last week. They were condemned by the Committee on Standards in Public Life and freedom of information campaigners alike.

Standards committee chair Sir Christopher Kelly told Public Finance that the attempt to exempt MPs from full transparency looked as if politicians were changing the rules to suit themselves.

'Even if there's nothing sinister going on, as long as they continue to treat themselves differently, there will always be suspicions' he said. …

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