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MP expenses row

PUBLISHED: 15:53 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 25 August 2010

HARD-UP pensioners have hit out at MPs who want to prevent the public from seeing their expenses and accused them of dipping their hands in the pot .

HARD-UP pensioners have hit out at MPs who want to prevent the public from seeing their expenses and accused them of 'dipping their hands in the pot'.

In a vote taking place today, MPs will decide whether or not to keep their expenses for the upkeep of their second homes secret from the public.

The proposals have been condemned by 'struggling' elderly residents.

Bexleyheath pensioner Malcolm Kirkup, 78, of Beechcroft Avenue, said he will never vote for his MP, David Evennett, again if he went in favour of plans put forward by Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman.

He said: "Pensioners are the worst off group of people in the country.

"Why should MPs not be subject to scrutiny when they are spending our money when we are all trying to deal with the credit crunch?

"If they don't have anything to hide then they shouldn't mind us seeing what they are spending money on. They should not be exempt. I am worse off than I have ever been."

If MPs vote for the plans they will become the only civil servants who will not be subject to revealing their expenses under the Freedom of Information Act.

Instead, they would disclose their expenses under 26 general headings. In April 2008, the government promised that all expenses would be made public after publishing the so-called John Lewis list - the Additional Costs Allowance - which lets MPs spend up to £10,000 on kitchens and £200 on blenders from a maximum annual £23,000 allowance.

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