Steve Baker MP: Who drafts Government bills?
Samizdata reports an exemption for MPs from tax avoidance law, contained in Section 554E (8) of the Finance Bill, writing "Taxes are for the little people, of course." The Telegraph's Ian Cowie writes,
New tax year, same old MPs. After Budget promises to tackle tax avoidance, Parliament is passing legislation to block several loopholes – but an obscure clause specifically exempts MPs from these new restrictions.
Yes, really. Anyone who thought the denizens of Halitosis Hall had learned their lesson after the MPs’ expenses scandal will be disappointed. But it seems politicians still cannot get their heads round the childhood adage about sauce for the goose and gander – or why their constituents are fed up with buying them duck houses.
I am furious. Who could possibly think that special tax treatment for MPs is a good idea? Who could possibly think that MPs would get away with it if they tried it?
But wait. Who drafts Government bills? Not back-bench Members of Parliament... In whose interests is it to keep Members of Parliament up to their armpits in the brown stuff? I smell a rat.
There should be no special treatment for anyone before the law, least of all those who make it.
Unfortunately, as anyone who has read Hannan and Carswell's The Plan will know, this isn't the first example of special treatment for MPs. Beyond the freedom to speak in Parliament with impunity, all legal privilege for MPs must end. We must suffer the same pain and inconvenience as the rest of the people of this country.
I have written to the Chancellor, asking him to remove this provision. I hope colleagues reading this will do likewise.
Noon update: It has been suggested to me that this provision stems from the fact that we are paid by IPSA but not employed by IPSA. At any rate, the Treasury should explain.