Wednesday, January 21, 2009

UK Govt drops plans for MPs expenses vote

Downing Street has shelved a controversial vote to keep MPs' expenses private. The government had said Labour MPs would be forced to vote through a bill banning the release of ministers' expenses, denying them a free vote of conscience on the issue tomorrow.

But the vote was unceremoniously dropped today, with parliamentary insiders confirming Gordon Brown's suggestion to the Commons that the government was shocked by the Tories changing their position on the subject 24 hours ago. The move may have been a bid to avoid Labour rebels embarrassing the government. An early day motion tabled by Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson and backed by a number of Labour MPs including David Winnick, Kate Hoey and Lynne Jones.

One Labour MP told politics.co.uk he would have considered voting against the party line because the measures did not have a "wider remit" covering other senior public officials.

Such concerns are now irrelevant following the government's U-turn, leaving it facing criticism for its initial stance on the issue. "This is a humiliating climbdown for Gordon Brown after he was forced to accept that people will not tolerate MPs continuing to act like members of a secret society," said Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

IMO: At least Brown has eventually listened to the poor and the needy, who deplore the fat cat politicians and the way they are living off the poor, having reneged continually on their promises to them. It doesn't matter what the Lib Dems claim they would do, as they obviously will not be in office anytime soon, and on previous Tory policies, which almost always let down the weak, the poor, and the old anyway, the only reason for the Tories to be against the bill would be that they can afford expensive accountants to cover up for their fiddles. Think of how much tax the very rich (through marriage, not hard work) Cameron must be avoiding anyway, whatever bill is passed. It is rumoured that hopefully a few politicians will have to resign because of their fiddles. Unfortunately they are probably only Labor ones, who can't afford good accountants.

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