Azara Blog: Gordon Brown wants a flat-rate attendance allowance for MPs

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Date published: 2008/04/23

The BBC says:

Downing Street has defended plans for a flat-rate attendance allowance for MPs, saying it would encourage them to turn up to Parliament.

Under the current system MPs do not have to turn up but still get their allowances, said the PM's spokesman.

Gordon Brown intends to put his plan to scrap second homes expenses in favour of a daily rate to the vote next week.

But Lib Dem deputy Vince Cable said he believed there was so much opposition to it, it would not go through.

He told BBC One's Question Time the idea was "absurd and unworkable" and said, while there was agreement on some aspects of Mr Brown's proposals, "this particular proposal about clocking out will not go through".

There should be no flat-rate attendance allowance. MPs should just be paid a certain amount for the job, a certain amount to cover travel, and a certain amount to cover office expenses. And MPs should have an apartment in a government-owned block of flats if they want to stay in Westminister over night. Everything else is pretty much corruption. And there is a cheaper way to "encourage" MPs to turn up to Parliament, namely to publicise loud and clear which MPs are not there on any given day. On the other hand, the Tory and Lib Dem opposition to Brown's proposal seems to stem entirely from their desire to retain privileges for themselves that ordinary members of the public do not have.

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