Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Plaid condemns MPs 'seven deadly sins'
Plaid MPs in Westminster have set in motion new plans to address the MPs’ expenses row.
As an interim measure, in advance of any recommendations by Sir Christopher Kelly, Plaid MPs have announced new internal guidelines while reform of the expenses system is kick-started.
Plaid will also call upon the Government to immediately abolish what the party views as the ‘Seven deadly parliamentary sins’:
• The practise of flipping
• Climbing the property ladder at the public expense
• Claiming a second home discount
• Giving the wrong address – ie. claiming that the constituency-based family home is the designated second home
• Long distance shopping – the practise of claiming for objects delivered to your second home but used at the first
• Tax evasion
• Claiming for luxury items.
Plaid Parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd MP said: “Now that a new Speaker is to be elected, it’s important that Michael Martin does not become a scapegoat for the controversy - we must now have a new political culture.
“It is deeply regrettable that public confidence in the expenses system and in democratic politics has been eroded. Although the expenses claims made by Plaid Cymru MPs have been in accordance with the spirit and the letter of the parliamentary guidelines, the party has argued for some time that lessons need to be learned from the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament in terms of reforming the system to ensure transparency, fairness and openness.
“Notwithstanding any reforms to Parliamentary systems, Plaid Cymru has decided to review its rules in relation to the expenses claimed by its own elected representatives in the House of Commons.
“We will disclose all claims made by Plaid MPs as soon as possible. We will also ensure that we do not accept anything other than legitimate housing costs while the investigation is under way – which will not include food, furniture or home fittings. I hope the House will join us in fully accepting and implementing changes from Sir Christopher Kelly’s review.
“It should naturally be assumed that all MPs with constituencies outside of London are registered with the tax authorities as having a second home in London.
“Review of claims must be carried out independently and in a matter of weeks, so that we begin the urgent process of restoring public confidence. Plaid will also continue to urge Westminster to fully disclose all MPs’ claims as soon as possible and to abolish these shocking practises.”