MPs could be allowed to submit receipt-free expenses claims Aug 11, 2013 17:30:52 GMT
Post by Focus on Aug 11, 2013 17:30:52 GMT
MPs could be allowed to submit expenses claims which are not backed up by receipts to make the system more streamlined.
John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons
The idea - which could prompt fears that it will encourage abuses similar to those seen in the 2009 expenses scandal - has been suggested by John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, in a letter to the chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
In the letter to Sir Ian Kennedy, Mr Bercow said more than eight out of 10 MPs were not submitting claims because the system was too complex and it was no clear if the claim would be successful.
He asked Sir Ian to look at the expenses system once he has completed a review of MPs’ pay and pensions – which has suggested a11 per cent worth £7,500 or MPs.
Mr Bercow said: “Once the review of MPs’ remuneration is complete, therefore, we would welcome your further consideration of ways in which the scheme might be made easier both to administer and to comply with.
“You have recently indicated your willingness to consider the case for dealing with overnight costs and subsistence through an allowances system. The final decision is of course a matter for you, but we are encouraged that you will approach the question with open minds.”
Mr Bercow also asked if Ipsa would allow MPs to be allowed to transfer budgets from an MPs’ office to staff budgets, a process called “virement”.
He said: “Similarly though you have not previously considered it appropriate to allow virement between an MP’s office and staff budgets, we hope you will keep the matter under review.
“There may also be merit in reviewing Ipsa’s policy on the handling of low-value claims.”
Mr Bercow played down a report that he had agreed a deal with Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, to quit his Buckingham seat in the middle of the next Parliament to allow Mr Johnson to re-enter the House of Commons as an MP.
Boris Johnson, the London Mayor
Mr Johnson’s current term of office ends in 2016 and Mr Bercow has always said he would stand down in the middle of the next Parliament, around 2017 or 2018.
Mr Bercow has to stand at the next election as an MP but by convention is not challenged by the major parties. Mr Bercow’s spokesman said that he and the Mayor had never discussed the idea.
An Ipsa spokesman said: "Over the past three years we've been consistent and clear - the old system of allowances failed and there's no going back to it. Instead we now have a clear set of rules for business costs and expenses.
"This approach is cheaper, fairer and transparent. Anyone can go online and see details of every claim made by every MP."
["This approach is cheaper, fairer and transparent. Anyone can go online and see details of every claim made by every MP"] - What a load of old b.llox ... what the moron means to say is that it will make it a lot easier for the 'bent' b..tards to fiddle their expenses and to cover their tracks a lot better than they did 2009!! Ppffttt!!! - Fx