MPs' Expenses - Humfrey Malins

by @edent | # # | 1 comment

During the recent furore over MPs attempting to hide their expenses, I wrote to my MP using the wonderful services of http://www.writetothem.com/

Dear Humfrey Malins,

I understand that MPs plan to grant themselves the privilege of
exempting themselves from Freedom of Information requests concerning
their expenses.

Whenever I have a business expense, my employer asks for every receipt,
no matter how small. How else is it to correctly pay its tax and
protect itself against fraud?

I would like you to remember that it is MY money that you are spending.
I happily pay tax for the betterment of this country. I do not object
to paying your wages or any other reasonable expenses you may have as
you go about your business. What I object to is you hiding your
spending from me. How else am I to gauge whether you are defrauding me
or if you represent value for money?

As one of many people who is looking for a change of government at the
next election, you action on this matter will influence my vote.

Yours sincerely,

Terence Eden

A scant 2 hours later, I had a reply!

Dear Mr Eden, The House of commons authorities check our expenses to the
last penny, and I have no problem publishing mine. I wonder if you agree
that since Civil servants and the police are public servants whether
they too should publish all their expenses best wishes Humfrey Malins
CBE MP

So, I replied,

Dear Mr Malins,

Many thanks for your swift reply. It's great to see an MP engaging
with their constituents. Do you have a blog or website where you will
be publishing these figures?

I do believe that all Civil Servants should publish these expenses to
the people who employ them.
If, for example, a Police Authority sees that a PC is claiming
extortionate or unusual expenses, they should be able to challenge
them. Ultimately, voters chose whether or not to employ an MP.
Therefore, I think their expenses should be visible to the public.
That said, the same should go for anyone who is employed by the state.
I come from the Open Source Software world - one of our mantras is
"Many eyes make all bugs shallow". The more people you have looking
for a problem, the easier it is to spot and fix. It also means that
people are less likely to behave maliciously if they know there is a
good chance their misdeeds will be spotted.

Would you have any objection to me publishing this correspondence on
my blog - https://shkspr.mobi/blog - ?

Many thanks - and please encourage all those in your party to vote to
keep their expenses viewable by all.

Terence Eden

Bizarrely, I received a written response a few days later

So, full marks to Mr Malins for being on the ball with this one. It really is great to see what a bit of effort will get you.

One thought on “MPs' Expenses - Humfrey Malins

  1. P Maina says:

    Nice one...! A bit late in the day to post but as I saw this via a little bit if surfing to check on some info about this person. So glad this "Tory toff" has gone, conning the taxpayer for the amount of £58k and Woking, his now EX-constituency, was for him only 25mins by train from London!

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.