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MP expenses under the spotlight again

The news that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds in accommodation expenses over the last few years has set many tongues wagging in the House of Commons. While legally the situation is precariously balanced, with full details yet to appear in the worldwide press, the situation seems to revolve around the allocation of main residence and secondary residence with relation to stays away from home.



Without going into detail on the specific Jacqui Smith case, many people are dismayed to find out that despite a number of serious attempts to "clean up" the expenses gravy train in UK politics, MPs are still claiming significant expenses from the public purse. While many people believe that Jacqui Smith has done nothing wrong and abided by the rules throughout, many people are calling for a change in the rules to stop MPs claim significant amounts of money (up to £24,000 a year against a second home) at the expense of the taxpayer.



There are also claims of hypocrisy from the UK government, and the UK opposition parties, who are calling the UK banking industry to account with regards to large bonuses and expenses, when many in government and opposition could be accused of the same. The government's recent attempt to cover-up MPs expenses was defeated in the House of Commons and the next few months should be interesting as finally we see how much our MPs cost us.

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