28 March 2007

Blogging At The Taxpayer's Expense

MPs have just voted for a £10,000 communications allowance each to add to their already exorbitant expenses. This bung is expected to be used on blogs and websites. Need I say that this adds insult to injury. Sensible commentators have been up in arms about the abuse of public money on Labour Environment Minister Miliband's blog. The government's response - a £6.5m freebie to sitting MPs to allow them to do the same thing.

It was good to see the Conservatives oppose this sleazy and unfair measure and I want them to commit to reverse it. Mr Straw who supported the measure said websites funded by the extra £10,000 must not promote a party or politician. The other one's got bells on it. Here's a safe prediction - most of that £6.5m will be misspent - not only does this measure help incumbent MPs, but it is an open invitation to corruption. I know I bang on about Labour sleaze, but are there any depths left for them to plumb?


Anonymous said...

Not sure what to spend all mine on - after all Blogspot is free - and I even make some cash - ok only about a fiver a month -on the ads. What should I do with my 10,000? Wait a minute - it is for everybody right?

Praguetory said...

They're starting at the bottom with MPs so I suppose once they've expanded the scheme to pondlife, four-legged friends will be next in line.

The Hitch said...

the evil that comes from prague
no dount this expalins the insanity that plagues mutley


Guthrum said...

Sadly some of them are so unsavvy that they think it means they can just run up a ten grand phone bill. Those that will blog will find the crap they spout just looks rediculous in print and they will be savaged in the comments section.

Praguetory said...

What I would like the Tories (who with one exception voted against this) to do is not to touch this allowance (demonstrating that it is unnecessary), but pick a couple of Labour MPs to track compliance. I would go into the obvious ways that this slush fund can be abused, but I don't want to give them any ideas.

Tony said...

Part of this £10,000 is to make up for the cap on postal expenses brought about by some Labour MPs spending up to £40,000 on sending letters.

Although nearly all Tories voted against it, if the money is there and is going to be used by political opponents, then Tory MPs should make use of it. Tories should not be at a disadvantage when compared with their Labour opponents.

A committment to repeal the allowance is something I would like to see.