Monday, January 19, 2009

Shameful plot to conceal MPs’ expenses: URGENT Action Needed

I am writing today about the government's shameful decision to make MPs' expenses exempt from the Freedom of Information (FoI) act, and the urgent campaign to stop this secrecy move. MPs expenses: Standards watchdog condemns latest secrecy move Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said MPs should not claim money from the public purse if they are not prepared to have those claims opened up to the public. Government plans to exempt MPs' claims from the Freedom of Information Act will only fuel voters' dismay at parliament's generous allowances, the watchdog said. Ministers last week slipped out plans that would block the publication of hundreds of thousands of receipts showing exactly how MPs spent millions of pounds of taxpayers' money. (link via telegraph.co.uk) Help us to stop the plot to conceal MPs’ expenses - open Democracy News Analysis Save Parliamentary transparency: an important message from TheyWorkForYou On the 16th of May 2008 the High Court ruled that MPs’ expenses must be published under the Freedom of Information Act. This Thursday, MPs are voting to change the law to keep their expenses secret after all, just before publication was due and after spending nearly a million of your pounds and seven months compiling the data. Your MP may not even know about this proposal (it was sneaked out under the Heathrow runway announcement). Please take a few minutes to alert them to this attack on Parliamentary transparency and ask them to vote against the measure. What can you do? Write to your MP to protest. Join this Facebook group. Blog about it, call a local newspaper (find one), text, email, and instant message your friends to let them know that about this campaign. TheyWorkForYou.com is a non-partisan website run by a charity which aims to make it easy for people to keep tabs on their elected and unelected representatives in Parliament and other assemblies. Please take time to support this worthy campaign by writing to your MP and it would help spread the word if you blog about it. Let everyone know about this campaign.

8 comments:

  1. Shameful indeed! We are the least democratic country in the western world and this shows why.
    Our parliamentary system really does need dragging into the 21st century. That won't happen whilst these arrogant 'do as I say, not as I do' politicians carry on as they do. xx

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  2. As you quite righty say, our parliamentary system desperately needs to be dragged into the 21st century. Parliament should be more open, not less!

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  3. Not just parliament but government in general!
    Compared to countries like America, Australia and Sweden for instance our Freedom of Information Act is very poor. xx

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  4. You're right, flighty. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  5. I've just been reading this all about it. xx
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7837852.stm

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  6. That's an excellent article with analysis of it all. Thanks for sharing the link, flighty!

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  7. I've just read this. xx
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7842402.stm

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  8. Thanks, flighty - that's very welcome news! I had read last night that Brown was going to force Labour MPs to back exempting expenses information from Freedom of Information laws. I think there would have been a huge backlash if Brown didn't back down. As it is, I don't see how anyone would support him in the next election.

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