So, the British Government are under heavy scrutiny due to apparent abuse of their expenses system. I don’t want to write loads about it, I just want to say two things. Firstly, there are always people who take the piss, there are people who make mistakes and there are people who do ‘what everyone else does’ because well, that’s what you do. So I don’t think all the MP’s were corrupt, or that they were all intentionally defrauding the country using a system with badly defined rules to get away with theft, as some people do.
Clare Short has this to say (here),
She told the BBC she had switched from an interest-only to a repayment mortgage and had continued to send bills to the fees office – but had repaid the money when the error was pointed out in 2006.
I accept that. I believe she’s being honest. I work in a large organisation where this kind of thing is probably pretty common. Confusing rules, mistakes, people paying things back. But here’s the kicker, and the second thing I want to say.
Clare Short may not have been abusing the system, Clare Short may have made a real mistake, and may have rectified it. Many MP’s probably did. But those same MP’s knew their colleagues were fleecing the system. They knew their colleagues were claiming stuff that didn’t add up. They knew the system was too easy to abuse. They may not have personally abused the system – but they didn’t make any obvious, real attempt to stop others doing so.
As a result, the entire establishment is at fault. It should shut up, stop whinging and deal with the issue at the root.