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MPs expenses - tighter regulation or bigger salaries? watch

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    What is the best way to get around the abuse of the expenses system do you think?

    Should we watch our representatives more closely to make sure that they don't abuse the system?

    Should we scrap the system altogether and start from scratch?

    Would higher salaries reduce the temptation/need to fiddle expenses?

    Or is this just one example of how democracy is not about transparency and accountability, and maybe the entire system should be given a re-vamp?

    What opinions do people hold on this issue?
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    With regards to parliamentary reforms in general...

    Bigger salaries, no expenses. They probably need an increase of about £10,000 to account for their needs, but no more than that.

    There should be fewer MPs, too. The amount of seats should be cut so that all MPs have a seat in the House of Commons.

    Committees should have more political power and independence, to keep a check on the executive. There is so much wrong with the current set up.

    We need a proper constitution, to ensure that Britain is not a de facto elective dictatorship.

    Finally, we should wipe out most of the pompous traditions in parliament.
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    (Original post by chloem257)
    What is the best way to get around the abuse of the expenses system do you think?

    Should we watch our representatives more closely to make sure that they don't abuse the system?

    Should we scrap the system altogether and start from scratch?

    Would higher salaries reduce the temptation/need to fiddle expenses?

    Or is this just one example of how democracy is not about transparency and accountability, and maybe the entire system should be given a re-vamp?

    What opinions do people hold on this issue?
    An expenses system of some description is the correct way for MPs to be reimbursed for essential spending that should not come out of their salary. The fact that there are 646 representatives from 646 different constituencies of differing nature, size and distance from Westminster etc dictates that the expenses of individual MPs is going to be different. An increased salary would benefit some far more than it would others.

    That said, as a separate issue, I believe MPs should be paid a higher salary. The level of work they are involved in is very senior (yes I know this opens myself up to ridicule...) and this should be rewarded through competitive salaries. While I agree the overall expenditure of the parliamentary machine should be reduced, I think MPs actually could be justified in taking a substantial pay rise. Of course, as has been said by MPs from all sides of the House, MPs should not control their own pay levels; it should be an independant body making such decisions.
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    Far bigger salaries, house MPs in the Olympic Village as per the Swedish system, no expenses.
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    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    With regards to parliamentary reforms in general...

    Bigger salaries, no expenses. They probably need an increase of about £10,000 to account for their needs, but no more than that.

    Finally, we should wipe out most of the pompous traditions in parliament.
    I agree with what you said apart from these two.

    MPs need an expenses system. If those who live in the periphery of the UK have to fork out more to go to Westminster to the detrement of their pay package then this is simply not effective. Considering how much people bark on about the country being London-centric then this would only worsen it.

    Secondly, it is the 'pompous' traditions that sets our parliament apart from other bland, continental parliaments. Destroying our traditions and history is not a substitute for substantial and real reforms. It is a hollow gesture. It simply doesn't tackle the real issues - it's posturing.
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    Tyrannicide

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    (Original post by caroline147)
    Far bigger salaries, house MPs in the Olympic Village as per the Swedish system, no expenses.
    I have to agree with you there :yep:
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    Average wage of their constituents at the very most. They're the peoples representatives, not our rulers.
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    (Original post by PoliceStory)
    Average wage of their constituents at the very most. They're the peoples representatives, not our rulers.
    Yes but 'representation' itself is a very loose concept. The majority of people would not be suitable to be an MP. I take representation to be the best person on the ballot paper who could fight for the wants and needs of their constituents, looking to serve both their constituents and the party which helped them to be elected. This person does not have to be a mean wage earner, who has lived in the area all their lives and has worked in whatever local industry there is etc. All that concerns me as that they stand up for the interests of all those areas previously mentioned and more. To attract good candidates into politics the issue of pay is a large one. MPs play one of the most crucial roles in the country- like or loathe the decisions of individual governments- why not pay them in line with such a responsibility?
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    (Original post by caroline147)
    Far bigger salaries, house MPs in the Olympic Village as per the Swedish system, no expenses.
    I like the idea in general about the Olympic village- presumably this would replace the second residence within reach of Westminster? The only problem is MPs wanting to live nextdoor to each other...after all, Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street rarely get on, how will 600 plus of them haha!?
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    (Original post by dannymccs)
    Yes but 'representation' itself is a very loose concept. The majority of people would not be suitable to be an MP. I take representation to be the best person on the ballot paper who could fight for the wants and needs of their constituents, looking to serve both their constituents and the party which helped them to be elected. This person does not have to be a mean wage earner, who has lived in the area all their lives and has worked in whatever local industry there is etc. All that concerns me as that they stand up for the interests of all those areas previously mentioned and more. To attract good candidates into politics the issue of pay is a large one. MPs play one of the most crucial roles in the country- like or loathe the decisions of individual governments- why not pay them in line with such a responsibility?
    The only reason they have such an apparent 'crucial' role is because of the amount of laws and schemes the government churn out. It used to be a part time job.

    I personally like the idea that the representative doesn't owe his life to parliament.
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    (Original post by PoliceStory)
    Average wage of their constituents at the very most. They're the peoples representatives, not our rulers.
    They are rulers. If they were reps then you could change them between terms.
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    remove all benefits of being an mp and keep the same salary. it's a job at the end of the day. they should not care about greed, money or popularity but responsibility for their actions, do what they believe in or think is right etc. if they get voted in, they should appreciate it as a privileage.
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    (Original post by thebutterflyeffect)
    remove all benefits of being an mp and keep the same salary. it's a job at the end of the day. they should not care about greed, money or popularity but responsibility for their actions, do what they believe in or think is right etc. if they get voted in, they should appreciate it as a privileage.
    So you don't think MPs in glasgow should attend parliament?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    So you don't think MPs in glasgow should attend parliament?
    i don't understand sorry?
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    (Original post by thebutterflyeffect)
    i don't understand sorry?
    Well you think they should only be paid basic salary right?

    So you think MPs should pay their own travel to and from london? So in trains that would be 3k and a buget hotel in london 15k so they would be down to 50k ignoring tax/NI.

    I guess their secretary and researchers have to go, as do the office supplies and their contact website.

    All good and fine?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Well you think they should only be paid basic salary right?

    So you think MPs should pay their own travel to and from london? So in trains that would be 3k and a buget hotel in london 15k so they would be down to 50k ignoring tax/NI.

    I guess their secretary and researchers have to go, as do the office supplies and their contact website.

    All good and fine?
    i didn't give it enough thought and i don't know how their system exactly works but i just felt they were no better than those on the dole who abuse the system.
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    (Original post by chloem257)
    What is the best way to get around the abuse of the expenses system do you think?

    Should we watch our representatives more closely to make sure that they don't abuse the system?

    Should we scrap the system altogether and start from scratch?

    Would higher salaries reduce the temptation/need to fiddle expenses?

    Or is this just one example of how democracy is not about transparency and accountability, and maybe the entire system should be given a re-vamp?

    What opinions do people hold on this issue?
    It's not that difficult. Just pay them per diem for every day they are on Parliamentary business away from their constituents. That's how I get paid when I'm away on business - it's pretty standard in the business world.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    It's not that difficult. Just pay them per diem for every day they are on Parliamentary business away from their constituents. That's how I get paid when I'm away on business - it's pretty standard in the business world.
    Thats simple, but where do they stay and who does the travel booking?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Thats simple, but where do they stay and who does the travel booking?
    They stay wherever they want. It's up to them. That's how per diem works. You get a fixed daily allowance to cover your food and lodging and other incidentals and you claim your travel expenses seperately.

    Travel booking? It's really not that difficult to call a hotel, book a flight, or buy a train ticket.
 
 
 
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