Tag Archives: independent parliamentary standards authority

Opinion: MPs’ pay rises

The country is going through a painful and difficult adjustment as we seek to rebalance our economy.

For politicians to make the case about being underpaid is inappropriate given the sacrifices being asked of the British public and its work force.

Let’s not forget it is because of the actions of the last Labour government that the country is in the state it finds itself in. How anyone can therefore justify that politicians should be entitled to a larger salary is beyond me. Regardless of whether they caused the crash or are fixing the mess, it is outrageous to think they should be awarded a hefty pay rise at this time.

Posted in Op-eds | 38 Comments

New MPs’ expenses rules published – the end of second homes and first class travel

New rules published today by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority mean that MPs will no longer be able to profit from taxpayer-funded second homes, nor claim for gardening, cleaning or first-class travel.*

However, the scheme has stopped short of a ban on MPs employing family members. Instead, no more than one “connected party” (i.e. close family member, spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner) may work for each MP, within approved salary and job description guidelines.

Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, Chair of the IPSA said,

No longer will MPs benefit from a slack allowances system. This system brings MPs’ expenses into line with those in most other areas of life. Expenses will be reimbursed only for legitimate costs, backed up by receipts.

There will be complete transparency, so that members of the public will see, in detail, expenses claimed by MPs. The rules will be backed up with tough new measures and abuse of the system will not be tolerated.

The new system is fair, workable and transparent. It will enable MPs to carry out the job we ask them to do and will provide reassurance and value for money to the tax-paying public.

Key components include:

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

MPs’ expenses: have you sent in your views yet?

As Helen has covered on The Voice, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is running a public consultation on MPs’ expenses. Comments on its proposals can be submitted until 11 February 2010.

A couple of people mentioned in comments to that post that the proposals are rather better than the media coverage made them fear, and reading through the IPSA’s proposals I’ve had the same reaction.

Even so, it is well worth responding to the consultation because the IPSA will very likely be receiving significant lobbying from some MPs to water down various proposals. Unless other MPs and the public lobby back, there is a risk of a lopsided impression being changed and important reforms being lost.

So here’s my response, which picks up on a couple of weak areas but otherwise backs the proposals:

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Have your say on MPs’ expenses

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is running a public consultation on MPs’ expenses, to run from 7 January to 11 February 2010.

The IPSA was created by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, in response to last summer’s public outcry at MPs’ expenses and allowances claims under the existing scheme. The body is independent of Parliament, Government and political parties.

Respond online or in writing with your views on a new scheme for MPs’ expenses.

The topics it covers include:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments
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