Page last updated at 00:48 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

MP mortgage 'ban' splits opinion

Politicians and observers have been reacting to reports that MPs are to be banned from claiming the cost of mortgage interest payments on second homes.

Sources have told the BBC Sir Christopher Kelly will also recommend MPs will not be able to employ family members in the future. Here, MPs and key observers give their reaction:

LABOUR MP TONY WRIGHT
Labour MP Tony Wright

There will be individual hardship and individual injustice but I am afraid that is the price we're all going to have to pay for this terrible mess we have got ourselves into.

There is no alternative but to accept the recommendations.

TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MATTHEW ELLIOTT

These are welcome proposals and a big step towards a cleaner, more honest House of Commons. The days when an MP could employ their family or buy a house at taxpayers' expense should be banished for good.

However, while these plans are really good news, we still need to hear commitments to full transparency.

There are other issues like the dubious communications allowance that I hope Sir Christopher addresses in his full report next week.

CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER, IAIN DALE
Iain Dale

MPs are going to have to swallow the whole thing whether they like it or not, and there will be quite a lot of MPs who don't like it, particularly those that employ family members who often actually do proper jobs.

They're not just there to make up the numbers, they're not being paid for work they don't do, generally, and there are several MPs who are really going to be angry about this.

I'm rather interested to see the employment law consequences of this because there have already been one or two wives who have said they will take this to court.

I think what you're going to see now is quite a few more MPs on all sides of the house just decide that they're going to give up.

SUZY GALE, WIFE OF TORY MP ROGER

I'm absolutely devastated. I mean it's been over half my working life and I love my job.

I believe we give - between the two of us and my colleagues in my office - a very, very good service to Roger's constituents.

I'm sure it's the same for other members of parliament and to me it smacks of discrimination I'm afraid.

I was very well qualified to do the job when I first started, actually coming up for 27 years ago, and I'm still very well qualified so am I not allowed to apply for my own job anymore? I mean where do we go from here?

LABOUR MP STEPHEN POUND
Stephen Pound

I would be absolutely amazed if two of the recommendations talked about weren't implemented almost immediately and frankly it's a scandal that they've not been implemented before.

I'm talking about the idea that you can have your mortgage paid, which meant somebody could have come into the Commons back in 97 and bought a house for £60-70,000, sell it 10 years later for up to 10 times that and pocket the difference - that's indefensible.

The second one is about the appropriateness of where you live, which is a move towards a personal regime which I think is sensible and logical.

ALISTAIR GRAHAM, FORMERLY STANDARDS IN PUBLIC LIFE CTTEE
Sir Alistair Graham

What is being recommended - if it turns out to be true - is very sensible because it addresses the key issue of mortgage interest on second homes.

It also, as I understand it, proposes there should be some sensible transitional arrangements.

Restoring public trust I think is a longer project and that's going to require significant changes of behaviour in the political class as a whole.



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific