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No meeting with the strange man was going to be entirely satisfactory.

Funny how your only telling one side of the story. I have been told by a very good source that he didn't like the fact that GB wanted all second incomes to be published including hours worked.

Glad DC will not support the Brussels gravy train model.

Who is joshuwahwah? Fantasist or insider?

Sky reporting Conservative counter proposals to the 'clocking on allowance' which limit claims to rent, utility bills, council tax and mortgage interest. Married couples would only be able to claim once and all expenses to be published within 28 days.

Libdems have also rejected Brown's proposals.

IMO the Conservative proposals seem much more like it. No more Sky subscription, fireplaces, bath plugs or porn movies and about time too.

Neither John. Watch this space.....

Gordon really should have waited until he'd had the meeting with Cameron & Clegg before announcing his solution. Then he could at least have made the pretence of listening to their views. Political naivity methinks.

"Political naivity methinks."

Habit, more like.
A dictator through and through.

joshuwahwah

Yes, I heard that too. My "very good source" was BBC News 24.

As far as I recall, there never was a proposition that MPs' expenses should be means tested. Therefore, I don't see why Brown wanted to make a settlement on expenses dependent on something else that is unconnected and utterly irrelevant. But since you seem to be Brown's mouthpiece round here, perhaps you have more to say? Before you get your creative juices running too quickly, do recall that the register of members interests is all about second incomes.

If Brown caused a sticking point by trying to play silly tribal games (for the second time today), then I would have done absolutely just the same as Cameron.

"The Conservatives ... want voters to be able to Google MPs' expenses"

So, what are you waiting for?

Publish Conservative MPs' ones now. All of them. Lead by example.

It's not rocket science.

Good. He's just trying to play politics anyway. The only workable solution is for there to be consensus.

Brown's plan is full of holes.

The second jobs thing is a political red herring, but just to play that game for a moment:
(a) if having another job as well as being a constituency MP is so bad, why do we have ministers?
(b) spending all their time as MP insulated from the real world has been so, so good for the country, hasn't it?

Cameron did the right thing.

Ruth, I can't agree -

Should teachers be allowed to be take on second jobs during school time to give them a better understanding of the world they are educating pupils about?

I haven't noticed any MP's choosing nursing, teaching, community policing etc as their second job. Does the real world only happen in boardrooms?

I would be pretty sure that Brown's objective was no more than to try to provide some vague factual basis to the Tory Toffs theme. As I said before, if (re-)declaring second incomes was the sticking point, then Cameron is doing the right thing by opposing. Second incomes and MPs expenses have nothing to do with each other.

BTW will.b, I understand Philip Hollobone is a Special Constable.

Cameron and Clegg need to build an all party consensus without Brown. Perfectly possible, and potentially deadly!

As long as this isn't the googly before the ball is hit into the long grass, then it fine. Trouble is it very difficult to trust MP's to sort out their own sty.

If only Brown had been collegiate instead of his usual tribal self then much of this could have been avoided. I like much of what Cameron has said - but just this question. Would it not still mean that Jacqui Smith can claim that her sisters boxroom is her main home. If so then Camerons poposals are dead in the water with the public.

Peter Buss:

Would it not still mean that Jacqui Smith can claim that her sisters boxroom is her main home. If so then Camerons poposals are dead in the water with the public

I'm not sure you are correct. The mortgage interest aspect is going to be capped. In which case she will find it much harder to profit from her allowance wherever she dosses. Let's wait and see what that is.

You see, I actually don't care if the Home Secretary is so tight that she is happy to make a spectacle of herself in order that she can be a lodger, so long as she is stopped from milking the system unnecessarily.

In addition, husband and wife MPs will only be able to claim once.

I thought they wanted to support marriage? :)

Should teachers be allowed to be take on second jobs during school time to give them a better understanding of the world they are educating pupils about?

Of course they should - that's a problem we have is that a lot of teachers are detatched from the real world and so they teach kids to be socialists or somesuch.

One other comment. If a minister is entitled to a Grace and favour home and turns the opportunity down they should forfeit their TPA.

jOSHW is not of this planet must have been beamed down from somewhere.

Proper receipt what a great idea lets also have a promise to throw out those who abuse the system and prosecute them as you would any other public servant.

As a public servant myself if I claimed for Porn I'd be righly prosecuted.

johnfromcamberley - thanks for that. Philip Hollobone is a fine example of how MPs should be. Special constables are unpaid, giving their time to help their communities. It is not a second job but voluntary work.

Most of those with second jobs are in it for the cash not for any benefit to their work as MP's.

"Would it not still mean that Jacqui Smith can claim that her sisters boxroom is her main home."

I don't think Jacqui Smith's claim is even tenable under the current rules anyway. How the hell can you say your sister's boxroom is your main home and housing your husband and kids are housed is an 'additional' expense you only face because you're an MP?!

@will.b
>>Should teachers be allowed to be take on second jobs during school time to give them a better understanding of the world they are educating pupils about?<<

Er... yes. Why not? Who has the right to tell somebody that they can't work whatever hours they like, doing whatever jobs they like? Nobody, IMHO. As long as they can prove they are doing the job they are paid to do, what they do in their "other time" is their business.

>>I haven't noticed any MP's choosing nursing, teaching, community policing etc as their second job. Does the real world only happen in boardrooms?<<

It's true that not many MPs have those sort of jobs but there's no reason why they couldn't, or shouldn't.

The pay and perquisites of MPs needs to be looked at within the £700 billion extra borrowing now forecast.
This means serious cuts in all public expenditure with Mps leading the way.
The only way to do this in the public sector without the accounting of profit and loss is by cash limits which in the case of Parliament should set the running costs of Parliament at 50% of the current level. How this is then distributed among Mps their perquisites and the rest of Parliament's expenses is a second order matter.

What is worrying about the Tories is that they seem content to allow the borrowing to continue on the way of madness. Look,most of the borrowing has not yet happened. It could be stopped now by determination now. But I dont think it will happen. Remember-'no flint-faced turbo charged accountants.' Why not?

Someone highlighted the core problem the other day.

MPs have little concept of the private sector and *genuinely believe* that their corrupt actions are still more 'honourable' that what happens in the private sector.

MPs whinge that 'we' (the public) all think that 'they' (the MPs) are 'at it' -- in truth the problem is that MPs believe that *we* are all 'at it' and only aim to behave very slightly better than what they think is our 'norm'.

In truth we bloddy aren't!! The public really are generally whiter than white (they have no real choice) is is only the HoC who missed out on the revolution...


"The leadership has not yet decided how to whip Tory MPs on the issue (although traditionally such issues would be decided on a free vote)."

No question, surely: "the leadership" must impose a 3-line whip - otherwise, those Tories who've been playing the same despicable game as Smith, Hoon, Gorbals Mick, et al, will vote it down.

Even the Caribbean dislike this budget!
Even the Caribbean dislike this budgetAnd with good reason...

Fortunately for Cameron, either GB can't copy effectively or there were sufficient gaps in DC's draft proposals that when GB came to fill in the blanks, his lack of moral compass failed him and his arrogance would have ensured he didn't confer too far.

We've still lost ground though. 2 weeks ago when DC asked for consensus, Brown didn't have an opinion. Now we've spent the last 24 hours thinking about his meeting, discussing 'his proposals' and now disagreeing with his additions. Labour have gone from being utterly discredited to having an opinion worthy of debate.

This is going to be contentious but Parliament may not be the venue to debate this, at least not for the opposition. Parliament is discredited in the public's view and no party is blameless. You could argue that all parties should work to restore parliament's reputation, but Parliament gives home advantage to the Government. Whoever has the majority is 'Right'. It's Labour's problem to fix Parliament, Conservatives could gain trust and kudos from the public by just fixing their own behaviour. Whoever acts first will have a huge advantage in terms of gaining public trust.

The free vote bit worries me. It only takes a few dissenters to taint a whole party. Conservatives need to reach consensus amongst themselves in private. Publish an agreed code and then comply immediately and unanimously. Dissenters and future defaulters would have to leave the party. All-party consensus can be debated in Parliament from the moral high ground of having already adopted appropriate behaviour.

Time is of the essence. Shame we wasted two weeks doing nothing to move party consensus forward and letting Brown back into the debate. As someone stated above, if Conservatives want the public to be able to Google their expenses for example, they don't have to wait for Parliament to allow it. Act unilaterally, act comprehensively, act NOW!

Cameron's proposals seems entirely sensible to me.

If the reform is fully delivered as Cameron's suggests, then it will make a big positive difference.

Brown is trying to play politics with this issue as he is with the budget.I don't think he's going to win on either.

"Second incomes and MPs expenses have nothing to do with each other.

BTW will.b, I understand Philip Hollobone is a Special Constable".

I fully agree with your first point, johnfromcamberley at 20.58.

I would add that Brown seemed to confuse an attendance allowance (which would apply to every MP attending the HoC, irrespective of whether they already lived in London or not) and a subsistence allowance which would only be payable against receipts for those who had to stay overnight somewhere. The first would presumably be taxable as additional salary and the second not.

As for your second point, I understand that David Davies the monmouth MP is also a Special Constable.

You can already get an aggregate of MPs expenses at www.theyworkforyou.com.

.......GB 2007/8.....DC 2007/8.....NC 2007/8
Totals:£124,454.......£148,829.....£149,026
Ranking 575.............289.........286

The aggregate itemises 2nd Homes, Communications, Staffing, Travel etc. I believe the Telegraph 2 weeks ago published it minus Party Leaders for whom I show Totals above.

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