The government has answered accusations that it intended to do away with the MP standards system entirely, by outlining proposals for a new Pay-As-You-Go system designed to "streamline" the processing of MPs caught selling themselves to the highest bidder, or "going about their right honourable business" in the words of the proposals.
"The old system was simply dreadful" said government spokesperson Quentin Smythe, MP for Hemel Hempstead and Glaxo SmithKline. "A boring old committee just called witnesses, pored over the evidence, and made a decision. I mean honestly. Slow, inconvenient, and no chance to cross-question witnesses to find out whether their parents went to school with mine, or if they prefer brown envelopes or an online transfer to a Cayman Islands bank account. Dysfunctional, as you trendy PC types would say."
"So going forward we are going to have a modern, transparent system where there is a simple, published scale of commission percentages, that you'll be expected to pay towards the Palace of Westminster Xmas Party Fund, out of any chance donations from the business community that might happen to land in your pockets. 2% for the small fry under 50k, 1% for anything above that, and donate your air miles to the Xmas Party Venue Research Subcommittee - climate change be damned. Happy now?"
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