I wonder how many times Gordon Brown rehearsed this video? For all of his hard work he seems incredibly ill at ease and entirely unauthentic.
It is very smelly that Brown is launching this today before the budget and proposing to steam roller his proposals through next week. Trying to change the subject by any chance? Apparently he hasn’t even talked to the opposition leaders yet. Is he going to spend all of next week shouting I tried to fix MPâ€™s expenses but the Tories and LibDems ruined my plans?
He wants to control MP’s expenses by removing the Additional Costs Allowance and introducing a per diem. What is wrong with just claiming justified expenses against receipts like everyone in the business world? Brown is also trying to bring paid work into the picture which is a valid debate to be had but in trying to put expenses fiddling in the same category as paid work he is moral equivalencing theft and hard graft which only a socialist could do.
What Brown is not telling you is that Parliament cost a whopping Â£461.5 million in 2006/7, that is about Â£350,000 per member. See some figures here. They don’t feel obliged to publish any statements of accounts anywhere you and I can find them. Brown’s video is small beer. Let’s sharpen the axe on this budget first.