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Sammy Wilson ‘out of step’ on MPs expenses

By Noel McAdam

Published 20/10/2009

Sammy Wilson
Sammy Wilson

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has come under fire after lambasting journalists’ “unhealthy obsession” with politicians’ expenses.

The DUP Minister also said it seemed Sir Thomas Legg, who last week sent letters to all MPs over their expenses, had “failed in some respects”.

Mr Wilson said he had not been required to pay back any money but Sir Thomas’ “retrospective changing of the rules” hardly supported the claims of widespread abuse of the expenses system by MPs earlier in the year.

Writing in his weekly News Letter column, the East Antrim MP said he had no problem with public representatives being held accountable for their use of public money.

“But should it not apply to all those in receipt of such funds, including journalists who, if they are going to engage in outbursts of righteous indignation, should be prepared to subject their allowances to the same scrutiny?” he asked.

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn said Mr Wilson was entitled to his views but the public response to the expenses issue showed he is out of step.

“If the media aren’t going to hold the politicians to account then how can the public actually see what and whom they are really voting for,” he said.

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