Would-be Bristol MP backs calls to change politicians' expenses
One of Bristol's parliamentary campaigners has welcomed the proposals from Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to radically reform MP's expenses.
Dr Mark Wright, the Lib Dem prospective MP for Bristol South, has been campaigning for more than a year for a radical reform of the whole expenses system, insisting that it cannot be fixed with just a few changes.
"The current expenses system is rotten and cannot be reformed by a few tweaks here and there. It should be totally scrapped and replaced from scratch by an expenses system that is in line with that of comparable jobs in the real world – such as that used by executives and directors of businesses that require a lot of travel."
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MPs would be banned from claiming expenses to buy second homes under Mr Clegg's proposals after he insisted MPs should no longer be able to make massive capital gains on property purchased with taxpayers' help.
Explaining the proposals, Mr Clegg said: "It is easy enough for politicians to talk about how the current system for pay and expenses needs to be changed, but what people want to know is what we are actually going to do about it. The ongoing controversy over the expenses system is having a hugely damaging effect on public confidence in MPs and politics. The behaviour of a small minority of politicians has played a major role in this collapse in confidence, but there has also been a collective failure to agree on a system that is seen as fair and transparent."