MPs Expenses – The Telegraph Ducks Out

The Daily Telegraph are reporting that tomorrow they will publish the expenses of all 646 MPs. They’re trumpeting this as a major piece of detailed information which will lay open what each member has spent.

Inside the 68-page magazine supplement you will find files concerning all 646 MPs, with details of their Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) expenses for 2007-8, the most recent year for which figures are available.

This is the first time that such detailed information about our elected representatives has been available in one place. It is an historic moment. We believe that our expenses files will help change the face of British politics for the better.

It seems to me though that the Telegraph has missed a golden opportunity here. To *really* allow the public to know what’s going on they should instead provide free in every issue tomorrow a DVD-Rom with all the uncersored documentation that they have. That would be the kind of “expenses file” that we all want to see and it would let all of us know definitely what has been wasted and what excuses were made for the unjustifiable expenses.

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3 Comments on “MPs Expenses – The Telegraph Ducks Out

  1. Are you saying that there is nothing in the files the Telegraph owns which it is reasonable for MPs to want kept secret? Their mobile phone numbers from their mobile bills, to take one example?

    • No, but as was demonstrated yesterday (I need to find the link but I think it was on Dizzy’s site) a lot of the stuff that is blanked out isn’t personal. For example, simply by showing the town where an MP lives and claims for his/her house would demonstrate flipping without compromising security.

  2. Sure. The way it was done was pants. But if the Telegraph gave out DVDs, the public would get _everything_. Are you sure that’s what you want?

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