Thursday, March 15, 2012

Earning that reputation XI

Another day, another MP caught rorting the system, this time Labour MP Louisa Wall, who is renting her electorate office off her partner, which was purchased specially for the purpose. It is of course within the rules, as they love to say. At the same time, its transparently self-serving, an attempt to maximise capture of Parliamentary allowances and get the taxpayer to fund their property speculation. Clearly, Wall feels that the generous salary we pay her as an MP - $141,800 a year, plus expenses - is not enough to keep her in the lifestyle to which she wishes to become accustomed. And MP's wonder why we think they're all greedy, grasping pricks...

As for a solution, over in the UK they have altered Parliamentary allowance rules to require MPs to surrender capital gains in properties paid for through the allowance system. That sounds like a damn good idea to me. MPs need to have electorate offices, and they need to have them paid for. But they should not be allowed to use that to rort the system to their own advantage. They should be primarily thinking of how to represent their constituents, not how to enrich themselves at the public's expense.