UK Ministers, PM’s aides too hooked to give up their lavish perks

July 5th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, July 5 (ANI): In a shocking development, 33 ministers of the Gordon Brown-led Government, five of Cabinet rank, have voted to keep their lavish expenses.
Among those on the list were the PMs parliamentary aides Ian Austin and Angela Smith, reports The Sun.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham also rejected reforms along with millionaire Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, Housing Minister Caroline Flint and Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy.
Gordon Brown himself did not turn up for the decision. MPs voted by 172 to 144 to keep the John Lewis list of how much taxpayers cash they can spend on TVs, furniture and new kitchens, throw out plans to cut second home allowance from 24,006 to 19,600 pounds a year, tear up proposals to stop them spending the allowance on renovations, and ditch calls for independent audits, with weaker internal checks instead.
Last nights vote took place amid scenes of fury. One Labour MP swore at Tory leader David Cameron for voting to reform perks.
While Shadow Chancellor George Osborne had a shouting match with Gordon Browns aide, Ian Austin.
Last night a spokesman for the PM said: He is disappointed and believes the status quo is unacceptable.
He said Brown had not voted as it was clear the reforms would be defeated.
Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers Alliance said: By clinging to the plasma screen TVs and luxury kitchens on the John Lewis list, MPs have shown astonishing disregard for peoples concerns. (ANI)

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