More than a month after details of UK MP’s scandalous expense claims began to be made public, the House of Commons authorities have begun releasing a selection of claim forms, receipts and other documents. Good news? A step forward towards transparency?
Of course not. The MP’s have had several weeks to inspect the documents and edit out any details they deem should be withheld as being ‘sensitive’. The result is a series of blacked-out documents which make it impossible to tell if an MP ‘flipped’ his home or claimed for an imaginary mortgage.
Claims for duck houses, moat cleaning and even the PM’s own claims for cleaning services shared with his brother do not appear at all.
The House of Commons apparently amended the Freedom of Information Act to remove residential addresses from the scope of the Act in order to ensure the safety and security of MP’s. This, of course, means that it is impossible to see who has been engaged in house ‘flipping’.
Twenty MP’s have so far declared their intention to stand down (at the next election to protect their ‘parachute’ payments) as a result of their involvement in the expenses scandal.