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Wednesday 13 January 2010

A Stroll Across The Astroturf – 10

In the wake of Expensegate, everyone wants to be tough on MPs’ allowances – even some MPs. Not to be outdone whenever Government spending is concerned, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance has attempted to get a piece of the action, this week setting out its suggestions as to how folks might provide feedback to the newly created Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). The TPA has provided model answers to every question in the IPSA consultation.

The sample answers demonstrate the effortless way in which the TPA manages to finesse its less than saintly position: transparency is urged of everybody else, while they are yet to publish those troublesome accounts, along with a full list of donors to their cause. Here for your perusal are some of the highlights (with my comments: I leave to others the frankly lame practice of cut’n’pasting without any scrutiny).

Question 1 of the IPSA consultation asks “Do you agree that the [Kelly] principles ... should form the basis of the new expenses system?”
The TPA model answer starts “YES. The principles laid out in the [Kelly] report, regarding ... probity, transparency and proportionality ... should underpin the new rules.”
So transparency is a good thing, then.

Question 5 asks “Are you content with our proposed approach to the publication of claims?”
The TPA says “YES. All claims should be published ... in full ... at very regular occasions.”
And regular publication of information is also a good thing!

Question 6 asks “Do you support the idea of requiring MPs to produce an annual report ... ?”
Here, the TPA says “NO. An annual report is frankly unnecessary.”
Phew! That’s those pesky accounts covered, then. For a moment the thought occurred that someone was indulging in a blatant act of stinking hypocrisy.

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