First and foremost let me say that this entry does not follow any political bias on my part. We have a secret ballot and how any person votes should be a secret between themselves.
Anyway the Daily Telegraph has now published details of questionable expense claims by members of all three major parties. These apparently range from a claim for dog food to swimming pool repairs.
Now I am not against people claiming expenses that are justified and to be honest have not a lot of people outside parliament also tweaked there expenses. This country is a democracy and anyone has the right to stand for election to parliament provided they pay the £500 deposit, repayable if they get more than one fifth of the votes in that constituency.. Obviously if you are lucky enough to get elected you should expect fair recompense for your efforts as you can not do any other form of employment. If you want to stand as a Conservative,Labour or Liberal Democrat you have to be selected by them otherwise you can stand as an independent.
Having established that you need a salary to live on, if you are elected for an area away from London e.g. Scotland or Cornwall you are going to need somewhere in London to live during the parliamentary session as no one can be expected to commute hundreds of miles each day. In these cases I have no qualms about them claiming expenses for a second home in the capital, after all it only allows democracy to work and means that people of any stature can stand as an MP. The basic principal of democracy is that every ones voice can be heard and anybody can become elected as an MP without having strong financial backing. Money not make good politics.
One final thought on political matters. Maybe I am being rather cynical but this year Kent County Council announced one of the lowest increases in council tax. June this year sees the County Council elections and I wonder if next years increase will be quite so low. I wonder.............