VOICE OF THE FENS: Whoever succeeds Malcolm Moss will find the gravy train has hit the buffers

PUBLISHED: 17:10 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:03 02 June 2010

MALCOLM Moss may be glad to be leaving Parliament and may well be leaving on a downer but we can be assured of one thing and that is the amount his successor will gain from the expenses gravy train. Whoever succeeds him will find the days of lavish emo

MALCOLM Moss may be glad to be leaving Parliament and may well be leaving on a "downer" but we can be assured of one thing and that is the amount his successor will gain from the expenses gravy train.

Whoever succeeds him will find the days of lavish emoluments courtesy of taxpayers' will be massively curtailed, and not a moment too soon.

This newspaper doesn't expect a heavy handed and parsimonious approach to be adopted to our elected representatives, but the scale of the expenses paid to some MPs has been truly staggering.

Mr Moss will, no doubt, concede he has enjoyed the best years of Parliamentary largesse, and hopefully, in future, the salaries and fees paid to MPs will be more rigidly applied and scrutinised.

If that sends some prospective MPs scuttling for the exit door, so be it, but the row over Parliamentary expenses and allowances brings sharply into focus the proprietaries of public service and personal enrichment.

If there's one single issue to unite virtually all voters, it is the co-relation between reward and effort in public service.

What's needed is for an investigation of the public sector to go much deeper and look not just at MPs entitlements, but payments to elected representatives at all levels - including local councillors- and also to the substantial rewards enjoyed by those employed full time in the public sector.

These are the workers who have been immune to the credit crunch, and whose entitlements to salary rises, early retirement entitlements, and heavily subsidised pensions have created a whopping divide in society.

That MPs need admonishment goes without saying. The real challenge will be for the party prepared to take on these much wider issues and deal with the injustices they inevitbably produce.

(Email your comments on MPs expenses to the Editor: john.elworthy@archant.co.uk)

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