Charge that Green Book to expenses

The MPs expenses controversy has made many references to the Green Book – but it’s not the only green book that Intute users should be aware of.

While many politicians were repeating the mantra of “it was within the rules” more and more people have been wanting to know what those rules actually were.

The Green Book is the guidance issued by the House of Commons authorities to Members of Parliament, that supposedly tells them what can and cannot be claimed for as part of their expenses.

The Daily Telegraph obtained unredacted details of the claims made by MPs and has been entertaining / shocking the nation with tales of claims for moat drainage, hanging baskets and the “flipping” of second homes.

While chasing up these links, I noticed that there are plenty of other Green Books, that may be of interest – for example:

The Green Book by Colonel Gaddafi is a 3 volume tract from 1975 that outlines his views on political theory, the nature of government, economic theory and social administration. It would be of interest to those studying politics, international relations or the Middle East.

The Green Book is also the name of another UK government publication – this time from HM Treasury that offers guidance to the public sector on spending public funds in the most beneficial and efficient way – one for students of the public finances and government spending.

Not to be outdone, the Department of Health also has it’s own Green Book, although it goes under the rather more formal title of Immunisation against infectious disease – last updated in 2006, for those examining health services and public health topics.

The Little Green Data Book is produced by the World Bank and is their comprehensive annual guide to environmental statistics, using information from the World Development Indicators and would be of interest to those studying environmental economics or development economics.

Indeed the Wikipedia Green Book disambiguation page lists a veritable smorgasboard of other Green Books – the one that I found most entertaining was the BBC guidance to comedy writers / producers from 1950 that contains warnings against mentions of:

Marital infidelity
Good taste and decency are the obvious governing considerations. The vulgar use of such words as ‘basket’ must also be avoided.

… along with suggestive references to fig leaves, lodgers or animal habits – which makes you wonder why you would bother writing comedy, when official guidance like this is often funnier than anything that a hard pressed writer could come up with!

Intute features a number of references to green books and more on MPs expenses.

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