A scandal of CEO-pay proportions is making waves across the pond as reports of dubious expenses claimed by members of Parliament have infuriated Britain. New evidence suggests that members from all parties, from Labour to representatives of Sinn Fein, have been bilking the system. In order to get around salary hikes in the 1980s, Parliament expanded the list of expenses in members' lives that could be reimbursed, from bags of manure to home entertainment systems, and members of Parliament have been collecting every since. "Hard-up members would head back to the north of the country four of them in one car, and they might make four claims," said Norman Tebbit, chairman of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher. Details of the expenses were first published by The Daily Telegraph following a new law that allows for government accountability, and a series of high-profile resignations have resulted. The scandal has heightened not only national concern over abuses of power, but also a fundamental distrust of Parliament itself. But Conservative MP Richard Shepherd says the scandal has ultimately been a good thing, "however uncomfortable it has made us and however low it has brought us."
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