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Foster backs new kitchens for MPs

July 7, 2008

Hastings and Rye MP Michael Foster has been named amongst the MPs voting to retain what has become known as the ‘John Lewis List’ – the allowance for furnishing MPs’ second homes.

On 3 July, MPs voted at Westminster on the details of their own expenses package.

Serious criticism has been levelled at MPs for being able to claim up to £24,000 to provide themselves with electrical equipment, kitchens and bathrooms.

Mr Foster appears as part of the The Times’ ‘Hall of Shame’ on the issue [see Times article]

Liberal Democrats are united in wanting to reform the expenses system.

Local Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner Nick Perry said,

“I am glad that Liberal Democrats in Parliament have been leading the way on trying to get more transparency about MPs expenses.

“That Michael Foster has voted the way he has is just one more example of how Labour is losing touch with the public.

“In an economic situation which is shaky for so many, it is obscene that MPs have voted this way.

“Michael’s predecessor, Conservative Jacqui Lait, has been in the news for her own expenses record, and now Michael backs the status quo…

“Could it be that he and many of his Labour colleagues are planning for their enforced retirement after the next election?”

Voting was 172 to 144, majority 28.

MPs who voted for the reforms have reacted angrily to the result.

Lib Dem MP Nick Harvey, a member of the committee which recommended the reforms, said:

“It was a total own-goal on the part of the House of Commons.

“An opportunity to put our house in order and be seen to put our house in order has been passed up.

“They took all the nice bits of the package but not the ones they didn’t like. They took the spoonful of sugar but refused the medicine.”

[What do you think?]

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One Comment
  1. Well said. It is shameful that some MP’s, particularly those who stood in 1997 on a platform of “change and reform” wanted this retained.

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