Writing in today’s Independent, Richard Ingram (former Private Eye Editor) raises the question of the need for reform when it comes to the cash perks in the House of Commons. However, Ingram’s is sceptical that any success in this area will be forthcoming. Why? Because any changes will have to cross the desk of the Common’s Speaker, Michael Martin MP. Could this be the same Michael Martin MP who has claimed huge sums from the public purse on top of his £137,000 salary, including nearly £50000 airfares for his wife when accompanying him on overseas trips, a few thousand for taxi fares to go shopping and finally a legal bill of £21,516 when somebody had the audacity to question why his wife was exempt from security checks when she entered the Commons.
On a scale of 0 – 10, the chances of financial reform of the Commons expenses system is ………………0.
There will be no change until the control of allowances, salaries and rewards is completely freed of any political or MP’s interference. However, that would require the approval of all parties, and as we know, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.