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Let’s be clear on MP expenses

May 17, 2009

2009_0502May0007Nick Perry, the Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Hastings & Rye, has spoken out on the MP expenses scandal, which has savaged the nation’s faltering trust in politicians.

Nick is calling for all the candidates in the Hastings & Rye constituency to make their views on MP expenses plain to local people.

Nick says, “Working in mental health care, I know that there is a time to speak, and a time to listen.

“It is clear that the nation’s MPs must listen to the public’s anger about the expenses scandal, when most ordinary people are also trying to survive the recession.

“As someone who seeks to be a strong voice for our constituency at Westminster, I feel that I must take the opportunity to be clear with the electors as to my position on these issues.

“I am glad that the Liberal Democrats in Parliament have fought so doggedly for total transparency on MPs expenses. We have made a number of proposals for reform which I hope will be taken up by Sir Christopher Kelly and his team. Nick Clegg has committed our party to accepting the Kelly recommendations in full.

“Personally, I strongly believe that an MP’s primary residence can only ever be in their constituency. MPs who represent constituencies outside of Greater London should be supported financially to secure accommodation in London (as the job requires), but there should be no possibility of them making a capital gain out of such accommodation.

“I would prefer MPs to be prevented from buying houses at the taxpayer’s expense. The most cost effective route should be prioritised.

“As my current earnings are considerably less than £65,000, I am clear that I could meet additional personal expenses out of an MP’s salary. However, I do think it is reasonable to permit (standard class) travel expenses.

“Finally, there must be root and branch reform of the way that MPs’ staff are hired, and their offices, run. These matters should not be part of the expenses system at all. The processes must be totally fair and transparent.

“It is my hope that the Kelly recommendations will cover all these points.

“You, the electorate, have a right to know the priorities of your candidates in Hastings & Rye as we approach, ever more quickly, a new Parliament.”

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