‘Shameful’ MPs should face criminal charges, says PCS union chief

“Shameful”fraudulent expense claims should result in MPsbeing sacked and facing criminal charges, a union chief has said.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), told delegates at the union’s annual conference in Brighton that the excuses used by MPs for fraudulent and exaggerated expense claims were shameful, and would not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny from a regular employer.

He said: “Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a lone parent or carer claimed benefit for something they were not allowed to claim for and then gave these excuses?And what would happen to a member in the workplace who made false expenses claims? They would be frogmarched from the premises, face dismissal and quite likely prosecution.”

Serwotka added that MPs were “disgraceful hypocrites” who had voted for pay cuts and redundancies in the civil service and should reconsider their position as public representatives.

Meanwhile, Serwotka outlined the motions to be debated today at the PCS conference. These included:

the government to nationalise the banking and finance sectors and all public utilities, including transport and energy

an end to public sector job cuts, including the Gershon Review and the recently announced efficiency cuts in the civil service

an end to the long hours culture in the public sector and the promotion of family-friendly policies

the minimum wage to be raised to £8 an hour, and extending coverage to all workers under the age of 21

the monitoring of barriers to employment for staff with disabilities

legal action against changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) that the union claims would allow the government to “sack workers on the cheap”.

In April, prime minister Gordon Brown announced the CSCS would be slashed from as much as three years’ pay to as little as 24 weeks by August, to save £500m over three years and align payouts to the private sector.

The PCS is the largest civil service trade union in the UK, representing more than 300,000 public sector workers.

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