Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 12:58 UK

Expenses code for Welsh Lib Dems

Kirsty Williams
Leader Kirsty Williams said the move was to regain the trust of voters

A code of conduct to ensure no Welsh Liberal Democrat politician profits from allowances has been passed.

The new code will be signed by all current and prospective politicians at the Welsh Assembly, Westminster and European Parliaments.

It states that none should profit in terms of allowances and there should be complete transparency in how allowances are spent.

Leader Kirsty Williams said it was to give voters 100% confidence.

The code was passed at the party's autumn conference in Wrexham.

Ms Williams added that any Welsh Liberal Democrat MP, AM or MEP who refused to sign the code would not be allowed to stand for election or as party candidate.

The code demands that AMs, MPs and MEPs regularly publish their own expenses and bans them from flipping homes, "unless for significant family or ministerial reasons".

Claims banned

It also bans claims for furniture, household goods, non-essential capital improvements and stamp duty.

The code of conduct on Elected Members' Allowances and Transparency follows the controversy surrounding MPs' expense claims.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Lib Dems said: "As elected representatives of the people of Wales, it is our job to ensure complete transparency, especially when it comes to taxpayers' money.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats want Welsh voters to have 100% confidence in our commitment to fair, honest and transparent politics and this code of conduct provides that guarantee.

"We want a fresh start for Wales and we want to regain the trust of the people who send us to work on their behalf. This is a first step towards that goal," she added.

The Welsh Conservative party said it had introduced its own measures on allowances.

A spokesman said: "David Cameron and the Conservatives led the way in dealing with MPs' expenses and restoring confidence in the political process.

"In the Assembly too, our AMs have endorsed the recommendations of the Jones Review and introduced our own internal measures on allowances, while in Europe Conservative MEPs were the first to routinely publish details of their expenses claims online."

All AMs will lose their right to claim mortgage costs for second homes after the next devolved elections in 2011.

They have never been able to flip their designated second homes as MPs have.

A 10-month review of the AMs' expenses system proposed providing a furnished flat within five miles of the assembly to the 25 with constituencies furthest from Cardiff.

The Assembly has also adopted a new publication system that posts all members' expenses online.

A Welsh Conservative Party spokesman said: "David Cameron and the Conservatives led the way in dealing with MPs' expenses and restoring confidence in the political process.

"In the Assembly too, our AMs have endorsed the recommendations of the Jones Review and introduced our own internal measures on allowances, while in Europe Conservative MEPs were the first to routinely publish details of their expenses claims online."



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