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Is this the end of the expenses uproar?

Commons Speaker John Bercow has signalled his support for backdated caps on MPs' expenses, despite anger among politicians. Do you agree?

Auditor Sir Thomas Legg has already asked some MPs to repay certain household expenses, after retrospectively setting new limits.

One Labour MP has promised to go to court to challenge the retrospective introduction of limits on allowances. But Mr Bercow's spokesman said these had been "implicit" in existing rules.

Mr Clegg, Gordon Brown and David Cameron have urged their MPs to obey Sir Thomas and pay up.

Is it fair to backdate repayments to include claims that were already approved? Would MPs be right to challenge repayment requests? Will this draw a line under the expenses claims scandal?


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Published: Monday, 12 October, 2009, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK

For once I have some agreement with Harriet Harman in that Legg has been a little restrictive in retrospect.

However, I do believe (1) that those responsible for approving expenses should be disiplined -- incl. dismissal as they have quite clearc/fly been drawing large salaries for NOT DOING THEIR JOB, and (2) it is obvious that some like Jacqui Smith have been playing the system for for their own benefit. No one will convince me that that a bedsit qualifies as a First home cf family House

Tony Wicks, Chippenham

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK

You can just see Ms Harman , telling parliament they need not pay up .. how dare the stupid electorate demand money back what do they know !, well madam we know now you lot are not to be trusted ever again .

s bingham

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK

So Harriet Harman now 'warns against' Sir Thomas Legg's findings. So we're not in a democracy then? The government appoint the man to audit the expenses and now they want the findings based on what they think is right and fair. That's not an independent auditor's job, and heaven help us if this is the shape of NULAB to come.
People whinge when there's something to hide, and it's really time the Inland Revenue investigators were brought in,the same threat every ordinary taxpayer is faced with.

John Bedigan, North Shields,England

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK

Of course it is not the end of it, until we the general public are satisfied. Their expenses should be totally open and all details published so that anyone can view them. There can only be one reason to hide details. And they have the nerve to complain about retrospective changes to the limits. I have know politicians introduce retrospective tax legislation and they didn't mind if that meant that some members of the general public had to pay more tax, so don't expect sympathy from us.

Peter, Bucks

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK

What Legg is asking MPs to do is the bare minimum the voting public demands. Any MP who moans will be identified as a career politician seeking self-enrichment, not a public servant prepared to work for the common good. Legg hasn't yet gone far enough - hopefully he will have the nerve and vision to keep going until we have a government and parliament who are there to work for us, not themselves.

Wrinklybutnice, Orpington

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK

How can they complain ? in the green book it says expenses so they can do the job in parliament better , how come gardening ...cleaning ...duck houses ...etc etc help in their job ! im sure they have wives who can cook and clean ,why the hell should we pay for them to have cleaners etc , they are squealing because they know they are in the wrong , its all bluster pay up and have done with it , if you dont like it leave the job now , and miss another disgusting payout when you leave ,thought not.

s bingham

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK

Of course It is right to backdate repayments against this shower. The indignation expressed by these pampered fops is indicative of everything that is wrong with the calibre of our 'representatives'. To add gross insult to injury, the taxpayer recently witnessed the elevation of Michael Martin to the Lords. Remember, this is the man who oversaw the office that sanctioned those MPs 'payments' and was himself found to be trousering cash. How wonderful to be able to change troughs and get fatter.

White, Norwich

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK

These expenses should be abolished because the people who claim them are paid enough in salaries to be able to meet their own expenses. Perhaps then, they might try to economise on their spending. Starting with the top "Management" work down through the whole rotten regime.
A G Leeds

Awesome Geronimo, Leeds

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK

Give up this paper chase as a lost cause.
The Brown and Clegg routes will get more and more complicated with every step.
We can exact whatever level of retribution we want through the ballot box at the next election; can we not?

jim Ballantyne, sandhurst

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK

A few are paying up but there are so many complaining it seems that this will run and run. Lets have a general election and then WE, the elecorate (who never voted for Mr Brown) can have their say about this shameful mess. It is he and his chum the speaker who let the whole expenses system get like this. So the they make him a Lord - my god! Most people who make a mess at work get the boot.

[cunnind], La Chatre - expat, France

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK

So Ms Harman does not believe in the court of public opinion any more, a case of do as I say not as I do, and she reckons the banks would not have got into a mess if women had been in charge, frankly her standards prove differently.

wmoonie, Denny

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK

Simple solution everyone: see if your MP has been named by Sir Thomas Legg. If so, have they paid up? If not make sure you vote for the other guy.

Simples

[BigManInBadShape]

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK

It better not be the end of the matter. The expense system needs to be completely re-structured and taken out of the hands of MPs. Yes it is right to claim back the money already paid out. It was paid out under rules made by MPs and exploited by those very same MPs. My employers wouldn't pay for my garden to be done or help out with my mortgage why do MPs think they should be any different? They should have to repair their house and do their garden on a State pension like my parents do.

Cynegils Cyning, Portland, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK

Clegg is correct, we should look at all aspects of this scandal and what has gone on. Why should they feel they are excempt? If found guilty then they should pay back monies owed to the state. Don't we make income support payments liable for those of us who are the poorer, fairness has gone from our society, this government is far from pure with democracy, we need openess, and clear lines of guidenece, and no excuses, if found wanting pay up.

Barbara Stevens, West Midlands

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Added: Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK

There was an old saying. "I'd rather know a thief than a liar". With MP's you get the best of both worlds.

Peter W, Manchester, United Kingdom

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