Uproar as MPs demand £20,000-a-year expenses Aug 12, 2013 4:27:13 GMT
Post by Focus on Aug 12, 2013 4:27:13 GMT
MPs sparked renewed anger over their taxpayer-funded expenses last night by demanding a new £20,000-a-year allowance.
They are pressing for a flat-rate payment to cover all food and second-home costs without having to submit receipts.
But critics condemned the proposal as “absurd” and a “stitch-up” that could lead to more abuse of public money.
New proposal ... Commons Speaker John Bercow
It comes after proposals for MPs to get an 11 per cent pay rise in 2015 from £66,396 a year to about £74,000.
Commons Speaker John Bercow has written to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority – the body that sets MPs’ pay and perks – to lobby for a flat-rate allowance.
He claims the current system, where MPs have to fill in forms and submit receipts, was too complex and a flat-rate allowance would be “easier to administer”.
Mr Bercow said that most MPs had not bothered to submit expenses claims recently because of the bureaucratic burden.
In his letter to Ipsa boss Sir Ian Kennedy, he wrote: “It remains the case that 85 per cent of MPs in 2012 reported they had not claimed expenses for which they believed that they could be reimbursed: substantial numbers continued to take the view, previously evidenced in 2011, that it would take too long for the claim to be processed, that the claim process was too complicated or they were unsure whether, or how much could be claimed.”
David Cameron has rejected the pay rise along with Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband
Matthew Sinclair, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It would be completely unacceptable for MPs to enjoy a tax-free allowance with no scrutiny of whether the money is spent on legitimate expenses and no transparency over whether it amounts to anything more than a top-up for their already-substantial pay.”
Mr Sinclair said voters would be particularly annoyed at the plan when Parliament has backed a public-sector pay freeze.
“Many taxpayers will see this as a stitch-up,” he said.
Watchdog Ipsa proposed the £7,500-a-year pay rise this year in an overhaul which also called for cuts to MPs’ pension pots.
David Cameron, his Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband have all rejected the pay rise.
An Ipsa spokesman dismissed the idea of a flat-rate allowance.
He said: “The allowance system has been restructured because it was unacceptable.”
In fact the body was looking at further curbs on claims.
The spokesman added: “One of the things that we are looking at is the complete removal of food subsidy altogether.”
[Mr Sinclair said "voters would be particularly annoyed at the plan when Parliament has backed a public-sector pay freeze, Many taxpayers will see this as a stitch-up"] - Well there's no sh.t on his shoes, as a taxpayer I am definitely well and truly fcked off!! - Fx