James Forsyth

What do we want? Instant disclosure! When do we want it? Now

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Nick Robinson reports that the parties are still banging out the details of an agreement on expenses. Robinson reports that “What remains at issue is that Labour wants a cap on the amount that can be spent on mortgage interest payments and the Lib Dems are arguing that MPs should repay any gain they make by selling a house which the taxpayer bought and did up.” But more important than the details of any deal is transparency. The public should be able to know what their money is being spent on. Indeed, I think the only way to begin to draw the sting from this issue is for every expense request to be disclosed as soon as it is made. To that end, it is extremely depressing to learn from the great FOI campaigner Heather Brooke (via Andrew Sparrow) that the Commons authorities are still trying to come up with new ways to block freedom of information requests.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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