Monday, November 18, 2013

Another day, another rort

Another day, another exposure of a rort by MP's. This time its Moana Mackey renting her electorate office from her mother - one of a number of MPs who rent from related parties, or even themselves. As with all the other rorts, the rorter declares that its all "within the rules", and is utterly silent about the ethics.

And its pretty obvious why: because these sorts of related party transactions are corrupt, and raise the prospect that the taxpayer is being ripped off. And even were we are getting value for money, the fact that a government service is purchased from an MP's relative (or themselves) on their say-so is... unseemly.

Such rorts bring Parliament, and hence our democracy, into disrepute, and they need to end. Fortunately, in this case, the fix is easy: a simple ban on renting accommodation or office space from related parties (including other MPs), donors, or bodies in which an MP has a financial interest. If they're going to rent, they can do it transparently on the open market - and not as a backdoor way of enriching themselves or their cronies.