[email protected]: Vince Cable – All aboard the 7.15 cattle truck to Westminster

Over at the Daily Mail, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable delivers his Easter message, examining the vexed issue of MPs’ expenses. Here’s an excerpt:

This may be a time of national economic peril, but the Home Secretary’s patio heater and the Transport Secretary’s three homes dominate the news. It is now essential that this running sore is dealt with. MPs have to move quickly and decisively to introduce a system that is clear and clean and gives taxpayers value for money.

I was pulled up short when I saw a newspaper headline ‘MPs: They’re all at it’. My first reaction was irritation and an urge to tell the editor that most of us don’t abuse the system. But then I reflected that we are all collectively responsible for making the rules and enforcing them. We have failed and, regardless of party, are tarred by the same brush as the small number who seriously abuse expenses and allowances. …

Nick Clegg and I have declined the latest salary increase since many other people are losing their jobs or being forced to take pay cuts. But what is really needed, beyond individual gestures, is basic reform. And it is needed quickly. As the economic crisis deepens and unemployment rises, MPs cannot allow themselves to be bogged down in rows over pay and allowance arrangements in which the public has lost confidence.

Whatever the temptations of kicking this issue into the long grass, the party leaders should get together and sort out the problem before it destroys the diminishing belief in democracy itself.

You can read the article in full HERE. And you can read the full archive of Vince’s Mail articles HERE.

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This entry was posted in LibLink.

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