May 7, 2014 12:44 am

B.C. MLA expenses to become publicly available

Provincial politicians will soon be held more accountable for the expense claims they submit.

Right now their expenses are made public with monthly and quarterly totals, but not much detail.

B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong announced today that taxpayers will soon have access to detailed information on MLA spending.

De Jong says an all-party committee is looking at how to bring in a system that lets the public see itemized MLA expenses.

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“I think it is a step that over time will help to rebuild some of the confidence that the public wants to have in how their tax dollars are being spent,” says the finance minister. “We have seen that erode over the past number of years, and this is a way to rebuild that confidence.”

The committee passed a motion to make full disclosure of politicians expenses mandatory, eventually posting all of their receipts online.

The decision comes on the heels of a scandal involving B.C. Speaker Linda Reid who spent tens of thousands of dollars on a computer terminal and a trip to South Africa with her husband.

Reid has to issue an apology and repay more than $5,500 she billed the government to fly her husband with her to South Africa on a business-class ticket last year.

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