MPs 'Should Be Banned From Thieving'
MEMBERS of Parliament should be banned from stealing money and fancy goods, according to a major new report.
Sir Christopher Kelly is expected to recommend sweeping reforms to the system that currently allows MPs to forge your signature on a cheque and wander through Debenhams with a large hessian sack, filling it with rings, watches and fine crystal tableware.
But sources say the reforms will be phased in over five years, meaning MPs will be allowed to steal quite a lot of things this year and next year, but by 2014 will only be allowed to steal small things like little bottles of shampoo, the odd bag of frozen prawns or a portable television set.
By 2015 a new system will have been introduced which will ban MPs from stealing anything thanks to far-reaching legislation which will set out a new range of words for it.
A House of Commons spokesman said: "The word 'allowance' is now synonymous with brazen thievery so we're currently toying with 'stipend', 'remittance' and 'apportionment'.
"And let's not rule out 'adjustment' whereby an MP's salary would be 'adjusted' in direct proportion to the amount they wish to steal over a 12 month period."
But backbench MPs and former ministers warned that an outright ban on theft would make it more difficult for members to have lots of stuff that isn't theirs.
Former home secretary Jacqui Smith said: "I got into politics in order to further the cause of equality, defend the disadvantaged and stuff great handfuls of stolen money into a suitcase that I keep under the sofabed in my sister's boxroom."
She added: "I even went to all the bother of marrying a man who would not only steal money but then spend it on the sort of high-grade lesbian filth that makes 2Girls1Cup look like a heavily censored version of In the Night Garden. That shows a level of commitment you simply don't see in other walks of life. Yes, it's a commitment to thieving, but surely that's the point?"
Meanwhile Anthony Steen, the outgoing Tory MP for Balmoral, said he would now be seeking a new career in a field where it was still acceptable to steal from your employer such as building work, or journalism.