January 5th, 2011

How Do You Solve a Problem Like IPSA?

Before Parliament has even resumed for the year, the battle between IPSA and the MPs has flared up again, with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority attempting to use the public as a human shield against aggrieved members. IPSA clearly isn’t working, but the MPs prove time and again that they cannot be trusted to be their own expenses regulator. This morning IPSA have opened up a public consultation for six weeks on how to fix the problems. The PM has warned they have until April to sort it out…

Guido has said it before, and will submit the idea formally, that a House of Commons debit card is the best way to regulate legitimate expenses. The transactions would as normal be electronically recorded automatically and could thus be published online automatically, the spending limits would be automatic and bureaucracy would be minimal. The idea was proposed in Disinfecting Parliament, a 2009 report from the Sunlight Centre that recommended a number of measures based on best practice in the private sector that could easily be transferred to IPSA. MPs have called for a fairer and simpler system, what could be easier than the debit card plan?


159 Comments

  1. 1
    Ampers says:

    If it avoids thieving, it will never happen!

    Like

    • 4
      Ken Lorp says:

      They won’t like it because they can’t fiddle the system.

      Over the years, parliament has imposed many rules and regulations on businesses with respect to payments, disclosure and regulation. Why not make MP’s subject to the same rules they have foisted on the rest of us?

      Like

      • 8
        Mad Nads says:

        MPs will commit suicide because these frightful IPSA people keep asking impertinent questions about our expenses thieving.

        Like

        • 11
          Ampers says:

          Interesting. Can you guarantee that?

          Like

          • Worthless Lib Dem pledge says:

            Cameron and Clegg clamed they would sort out politics- no more broken promises said Clegg- and it was one of three main points that Cameron pledged to sort out. Therefore to say he gives IPSA until April when they have done nothing since last May is a joke. How about Spelman’s appointment? Cameron knew her company used to, and still does through her husand, lobby the department she is in charge of, yet he still appointed her.

            House of Corruption needs more than rules for expenses, it needs true leaders of the political parties with moral fortitude to sort their MPs out. Can’t see it with the current crop of spineless turds.

            When is anything going to be done about immigration? When is anything going to be done to repatriate EU powers back to the UK? When is anything going to be done to cut EU spending? When is anything going to be done to cut the welfare bill? How are we going to defend the country with Lie Dems in office? When is Trident going to be renewed? Unfortunately Wavy Dave is paralysed from being drunk on the position of power and does not want to do anything to upset his socialist colleagues- one self-indulgent spineless turd.

            Like

          • Grimer says:

            If you give them a debit card, just make sure they don’t steal money as ‘cash-back’ at Tesco – it would appear on the bill as shopping!

            Like

        • 25
          Spank Sinatra says:

          That would be their best gift to the nation………

          Like

          • Worthless Lib Dem pledge says:

            How does the credit card prevent MPs like David Laws fiddling rent expenses for his boyfriend? Cameron reportedly wants him back in cabinet, I think this says it all about political standards. I would like to see lay people overseeing what claims IPSA allow these thieving hoons and for them to have a right to dispute claims and hear disputed claims before a panel of lay people.

            Like

          • David Laws the Honest Bachelor says:

            “Is it cos I is gay?”

            Like

        • 34
          GrumpyBearz says:

          I vote this the most optimistic comment of 2011!

          Like

        • 48
          Eric Antwerp says:

          She was on the radio this morning. Switched it off as soon as she opened her dreadful screeching gob.

          What our host sees in her I do not know.

          Like

        • 76
          in the pink says:

          Tits, and because the left hate her so much. You’re not a tit hating leftie are you?

          http://tinyurl.com/23lw8n6

          Like

        • 90
          Bring It On! says:

          Is there a live feed so we can watch over the web?

          Like

        • 91

          Dorries’ tits are rubbish, ffs….

          Like

        • 100
          billy bowdens right hand man says:

          said the other tit.

          Like

        • 102
          smoggie says:

          said the spacker.

          Like

        • 136
          Richard Kyle says:

          You B*******. IR tried it as she was so starved she found herself hooking up with a Cafe owner so that she could get a bite to eat.

          Like

      • 31
        Eeu to me says:

        What’s wrong in using the same system as us plebs use via HMRC,640 thieving gits is nothing for companies who sort out pay and expenses for the contracting industries,it would then allow them prove how close they are to the common man they pretend they are when they want our votes.

        Like

        • 80
          elephant never forgets says:

          If they used the same system we’d all be able to work out the same fiddles they were using or realise how thick some of them were when theysaid the system was difficult to use

          Like

    • 28

      Quite: far too transparent, simple, cheap and private sectorish to appeal to a career politician or civil servant.

      Like

    • 37
      On Your bike Jock says:

      “Taxpayers get £4,000 limo bill for ex-Cabinet minister John Reid’s trips to football matches as ‘£50,000-a-year’ Celtic chairman”

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1344186/MPs-expenses-Taxpayers-4k-limo-John-Reid-Celtic-football-trips.html

      Like

      • 65
        voter says:

        Where I work there is only need to pay for food and occasionally travel directly and here a debit card could be useful. These disgusting creatures we ‘elect’ ought to be given an office in their constituency and a place to sleep near to westminster if they live too far away. They should be allowed one or two staff which would be paid for by parliament. The MPs could be on the interview panel appointing these in order that they find someone sufficiently slimy that they can work with them. Their office, meeting agreed standards, would be hired by parliament, office expenses could be payable from a monitored parliamentary account on receipt of an invoice.

        When the MP is voted out the new MP takes up the office and residence so that this doesn’t have to be rearranged every election.

        Like

        • 108
          julian gardner says:

          yep we should pay for 1 or 2 QUALIFIED members of staff, not your fucking aunt or uncle.

          We should do like the swedes do and have an aprtment block nearby in which your allocated a room for the duration of your EMPLOYMENT.

          Easier to secure, and hmm what other things, guy fawkes comes to mind.

          and the credit card goes without saying.

          Like

          • Stop funding Labour with my licence fee says:

            Absolutely. An apartment block, with restaurant facilities and transport provided to and from parliament. If an MP wants to move his family into London to be with them that is fine but we will not pay for it – he has accomodation provided. If they want to eat outside of this that is fine but we will not pay for it – they have food provided. Why should we pay for him / her to travel home – no one else is paid to travel to or from work. As stated above – a credit or debit card provided as most companies do with a credit limit and accountability. Any payments which cannot be justified are stopped out of next month’s salary.
            Simples!

            Like

          • Kess says:

            Rather than an apartment block why not use those old underground nuclear shelters and tunnel complexes under London? Nice and secure, with (probably) direct access to Parliament and Whitehall. And I’m sure the rats won’t mind the company…

            Like

    • 57
      Sick of it. says:

      Slightly off topic, but do we really need 650 of these characters and 700+ in the HoL in a country of this size? Especially now that most of them seem to be happy for Brussels to do the bulk of our legislating.

      Like

    • 64
      Regulate the thieving gits with a rod of iron says:

      This is a bad idea Guido. The system should make it harder for MPs to claim expenses, not easier.

      Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

      Like

    • 78
      Hugh Janus says:

      Precisely!

      Like

    • 88
      Up sh1t creek says:

      What are you talking about, the MP’s LOVE IPSA. They have to live more like the real world, spend THEIR OWN MONEY, then hope they can claim it back. Poor buggers think they are something special and deserve money up front. At least they don’t have to be like the rest of the hoi-polloi and wait until the end of a tax year to get money back (if they’re lucky).

      Like

      • 144
        Hugh Janus says:

        Good clip, hadn’t seen this. Brillo on good form. The MP complains of his colleagues having to spend time form-filling for their expenses. Welcome to the real world, pal.

        Given this country’s tendency to gold-plate every administrative procedure, it gladdens my heart to see this lot on the receiving end for once.

        Like

    • 123
      Anonymous says:

      MP’s have shown they cannot be trusted to manage their own expenses. If they feel the public do not understand let’s have a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary following MP’s over a year.

      Like

    • 151
      Johnny says:

      Guido

      None of my debit or credit cards itemise what exactly has been bought. Just the amount spent and where. Imagine how long statements would be otherwise if you included every item bought including the weekly trips to Tesco.

      So say they spend £3000 in John Lewis, they are still going to have to produce receipts to detail what was bought. Can’t see how this will lessen paperwork – it will simply make it more convenient for MPs in that they will not have to wait for their money back.

      Like

      • 152
        Johnny says:

        Anyway, back in the real world, if you work for a private company or any part of the public sector besides the PoW for that matter and can’t be arsed to spend 15mins a week stapling your receipts to some claims forms and posting them off to the accounts department, then you don’t get your money back. Simple as that – no debate. And if you dare put in a dodgy claim and are caught, expect the sack and a visit from plod. This shower should be no different.

        Begs the question though, if they are so incapable of doing a bit of personal admin once in a while, then why the fuck are they even allowed to pass laws?

        Like

  2. 2
    Ipsa Facta says:

    Agreed, but when the crooks themselves make the rules …..

    Like

    • 14
      The PM has warned they have until April to sort it out… it doesn't need sorting out. says:

      The only ‘sorting out’ IPSA needs is for the thieving pigs to shut the fuck up with their whining and stop trying to steal taxpayers money.

      Bur then Dave IS a wimp and a piggy himself.

      Like

      • 110
        Grumpy Old Man says:

        In the real world, employees who need an expense account either receive a float to the amount they are expected to use monthly in pursuit of company business, or a credit card with a limit. They then claim retrospectively, topping up the float or collecting duly authorised expenses before the credit card is due.
        The Swedish Parliament has used the credit card system for years. It works alright for them. As Guido points out, accountability is far easier to maintain with the credit card system.

        Like

  3. 3
  4. 5
    BrummyDoug says:

    How much does an average MP cost ? Use that amount, perhaps weighted by travelling distance from London, and just give them the money; let MPs decide how to spend it, and dispose of the whole expensive monitoring bureaucracy. It would actually be cheaper, and save everyone a lot of wasted time.

    Like

  5. 6
    Steve smith says:

    This is eminently sensible, any disputed expenses can be arbitrated and unapproved recovered from the member without difficulty or embarrassment on either side.

    Like

  6. 9
    rockape says:

    Debit Card system is a non runner as it mean’s we will all know what they are spending our Money on.

    Like

    • 21
      Tugboatden says:

      Yep, this eminently sensible idea is way too transparent for MPs to sign-up for… There’ll be a whole smokescreen of bullshit and a well co-ordinated effort on all sides to kick the proposal into the long grass.

      Like

      • 66
        Anonymous says:

        What we need is to tag MPs, with a website where the electorate can see exaclty where they are at all times. A bit like a control order onyl without havong to have the expense of policement pretending to enforce it because the public can do this for them.

        Why would they object if they have nothing to hide…

        Like

    • 23
      Archer Karcher says:

      I believe the phrase they foisted on us is ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’. Transparent government? New politics? Just more of the same old shit. Until you stop voting for them, things will never really change.

      Like

      • 26
        Splooge says:

        Got it in one

        Like

      • 133
        AC1 says:

        I reckon democracy is a convenient illusion. If the public rumble the scam, then it’ll be democracy that goes, not our political class.

        Like

      • 138
        Richard Desmond says:

        Was it Jacqui Smith who pointed this out when she was trying to introduce identity cards or something and of course she had nothing to fear as all her dealings were above board. (One of them even being a bit top shelf!)

        Like

  7. 12
    My Other Cars Not A Prius Either says:

    I would pay each MP circa £90 k and tell them the expenses are their own,”researchers” and “constituency secrataries” become graded civil servants on contracts fixed to the term of office and paid by the hours logged in or clocked in-however I concede the debit card would cover 95% of their exes and would show exactly how shameless the worst are

    Like

    • 46
      Eeu to me says:

      What happened to “Public Service” that’s what these slimey gits are there for,being an MP in not a profession or a job it’s a public service they quite happily wanted to do,don’t pay the gits and any expenses requires receipts, after all they are the gits that’s have caused their own and the countries problems.

      Like

      • 134
        AC1 says:

        Simply let the MP set their own (and assistants) salary/costs and have them place it on the Voting slip next to their name.

        Like

  8. 13
    • 17
      Wavy Davy Bullingdon Gravy Loves to eat his Greens says:

      Did he say “if you want to understand climate change, go and see Al gore’s film, An Inconvenient truth.” ?

      No wait, that was Wavy Eco Davy! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

      Like

      • 30
        Splooge says:

        CMD is an idiot if he was genuinely taken in by that piece of garbage. I suspect, however, that, just like most politicians, he simply saw opportunities for easy headlines and £££

        Like

  9. 15

    Many haulage companies now give pre loaded credit cards to their drivers instead of cash ‘floats’, it works very efficiently. I see no reason why it can’t be used for MP’s expenses.
    If MP’s are kicking up a stink, it’s because they know they cannot fuck the system over.
    Bring it on….

    Like

  10. 16
    Stryker Miliband says:

    Iain Dale thinks it’s disgusting that MPs are expected to spend 15 minutes a day totting up how much free money they’re due from the taxpayer.

    Like

  11. 20
    Backwoodsman says:

    This issue is important for reasons other than the desire of a few hundred chancers with an overdeveloped sense of their own importance, to steal from the tax payer.
    The incredibly expensive monitoring system parliament implemented , would not even have survived the first outline discussion stage in a private business, which has to justify any expenditure to Directors or shareholders. It is symptomatic of the massive waste of money which every one of our public services has built in to the systems they operate.
    Remember the startling statistic. MOD, £8 Billion budget, 27,400 staff. IDF, £7 billion budget, 4,500 staff.

    Like

  12. 22
    Sres says:

    I like that idea, perhaps it could be linked to a social site where we the public can go and vote on what expenses we think they can have.

    Like

  13. 27
    Archer Karcher says:

    You are not BB and I claim my £5.

    Like

  14. 29
    Anonymous says:

    MPs have called for a fairer and simpler system, what could be easier than the debit card plan?

    An anonymous debit card – one without anything to identify the card or the person trying to pay using it. Like the loyalty cards that the Mardi Gra extortionists used to withdraw money from ATMs – and for precisely the same reason…

    Like

  15. 35
    Colonel Blimp says:

    Yes – but to get a credit card you need to be creditworthy.

    Like

  16. 38
    Gonk says:

    Heard chief honcho on’t radio this morning.
    Sounds arrogant, self-opinionated and untouchable.
    Which of course he is. For obvious reasons.
    Costs a bleedin fortune to run. Wheel out bloke with cardigan,
    two rented rooms and a typewriter.

    Like

    • 58
      Easy Solution says:

      The running costs should be taken out of the pockets of every MP in the form of a yearly surcharge added to their ample wages.

      This isn’t fucking rocket science you know.

      Like

  17. 39
    nell says:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/taxpayers-to-have-say-on-mps-expenses-2176369.html

    The six week consultation by IPSA is for the public/taxpayer. They want to know what expenses we think MP’s should be entitled to, so we should all get in there and comment.

    Personally I don’t think they should be entitled to any. Better to give them a modest salary increase, tell them they have to manage on that like the rest of us and save money by abolishing IPSA.

    Like

  18. 40
    Hellboy says:

    There already is a Members’ credit card, but it has been restricted by IPSA to Travel only and to be extended to paying for utilities for constituency offices. I think it will be extended further as less and less companies and local authorities accept payment by cheque and the stupidiy of the present system is that MPs pay the bills then claim by submitting receipts when hardly anyone issues receipts e.g. for phone bills, utilities, council tax, business rates etc. The system was out of date and old fashioned from the kick off. But there is still scope for abuse using a card.

    Like

  19. 42
    Alan Johnson says:

    Do the Savoy accept them?

    Like

  20. 43
    EdMiliband says:

    What was the question again?

    Like

    • 73
      David Minibanana says:

      The question was, ‘Can you take the knife out of my back now ? ‘

      Like

      • 121
        EdMiliband says:

        You mean the knife with the lovely gift tag saying:
        “To Ed

        All the best for your future as Labour leader.

        Love David

        P.s watch you back :-)”

        Like

  21. 44
    Steve Miliband says:

    But will they be good for cutting your ‘gear’?
    Perhaps Baldwin is doing a bit of research into it.

    Like

  22. 45
    GrumpyBearz says:

    WIth the greatest respect Guido this scheme is doomed to fail as the thieving MPs will spend on the Expenses Card whatever and whenever they like and then haggle over the legitimacy of the spend afterwards. That is how corrupt they are.

    The services and goods bought will be paid for on guarantee of the Card but if the expenses is is declared ‘unapproved’ how will the HoC get their money back?

    There are ex-MPs from the last Parliament who left owing thousands of pounds for expense claims that were declared void, invalid or even downright fraudulent and WE, the taxpayers who fund this rotten Parliamentary Expenses Scam, are still out of pocket!

    The bottom line is that the rest of the British Public buy and spend money for their expenses out of Salaries and expenses claims have to be approved BEFORE recompense, to give MPs a Credit Card is to give them the keys to spending BEFORE approval of the spend let alone the legitimacy of the expense.

    Like

    • 62
      Eeu to me says:

      If they won’t pay back the monies recieved which were on unapproved receipts then,if they are working recover it via HMRC it’s “goverment money” after all,if they are not working and claiming job support make them pay so much each week out of that money or wait until they get a job or even better remove it directly from there bank accounts,it would be nice to hear the squeals from these ex troughers as they a forced to return “stolen” money, note not mentioned plod or bailiffs.

      Like

      • 124
        Stop funding Labour with my licence fee says:

        We get our money back by stopping any unauthorised spends out of the next month’s salary, like many companies reserve the right to do. Make it their responsibilty to prove the spends are authorised, not the other way round.

        Like

    • 145
      Anonymous says:

      Everybody at a past employer had a corporate AMEX card – we could use it for private expenditure, but had to settle the bills personally. The employer would pay approved business expenses paid for using the cards direct to the card company.

      Do something similar with MPs. Make ‘em apply personally for an charge card – administered by a foreign bank that UKGov doesn’t part own – and let ‘em sink or swim. After the bailiffs repossess an MP’s car live on Sky HD, the rest of the parasites will get the message…

      Like

  23. 47
    Forlornehope says:

    You must be aware of Edison’s first great invention, to wit a reliable voting machine. This idea is doomed for exactly the same reason.

    Like

  24. 48
    Anonymous says:

    Haven’t bobbies been up before the beck before now for fiddling charge cards but only sometime after the event, a good idea though, but the spending needs constant monitoring to keep on top of it no good noticing it (or stumbling on it) 6 months later, or you will find the same thing happening as before. Government deptartments don’t have a very good track record regards monitoring, eg FSA, Bank of England, and dare one say it IPSA.

    Like

  25. 50
    JUST ASKIN says:

    Since when did china start visiting third world countries ?

    Like

  26. 51
    Gonk says:

    Fine spelling Billy, so-so joke

    Like

  27. 52
    rattattat says:

    This is just another example of a totally overcomplicated system a bit like much of our general law.
    There is a system of rates of expenses that goes across the civil service, you have to wonder why this could have not been modified to fit parliament. The use of a credit/debit card is another good idea it would reduce the paperwork and provide accurate records. Also, what could happen for out of town MP’s is that they are given a one off signing on grant and that is to cover them setting things up etc etc- that would be fair and transparent.

    but the chances of this being taken up a re slim as they are all on the kadge!!

    Like

  28. 53
    Easy Solution says:

    Why doesn’t some enterprising employee at IPSA just leak all their unredacted expenses claims again and that would soon shut the piggies up.

    Like

  29. 55
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    Another old Chinese saying Guido !

    While public tighten belt
    Mp buy bigger trousers !

    Along slow painful death to each and every one of them

    Like

  30. 59
    Hammond says:

    Not difficult to work out the vested interests of the MPs criticising IPSA.

    If any of them are the next big expenses scandal eg the 10th file handed to the CPS – it will undermine all criticism of IPSA.

    Like

  31. 60
    Anonymous says:

    If MPs are unhappy with it, IPSA must be doing something right

    Like

  32. 67
    Postman Pat says:

    2+2=5

    Like

  33. 70
    Anonymous says:

    Just employ me in IPSA. Problem solved.

    No contacts, been abroad for years, no axe to grind. Work load will be light after initial period is over!

    Like

  34. 71
    GOrdON says:

    Ooh a plastic card. I love plastic money.

    Like

  35. 72
    MP's are thieving scum says:

    It is a great idea Guido , but it will never gain support from MP’s who are determined to go back to the old system and will stop at nothing to get there, even abolishing IPSA.

    Like

    • 115
      Handycock says:

      Honourable members are best suited to regulating their own affairs. Why should we let an incompetent buraucratic organisation, like IPSA do it? All MP’s have to do, to regain public trust, is to follow my own model of probity.

      Like

  36. 79
    Cassandrina says:

    A debit or credit card is only a tool and not a system.
    Also it does not solve the problem in that many of our MP’s have little or no ethics and a diminished sense of responsibility or accountability.
    IPSA’s job is to herd cats and is finding it more than a little difficult.
    To start with Party Leaders should be made much more accountable for their “flock” and the conduct of individual members, which is not in evidence today, especially in the Labour Party.
    Secondly allowable expenses and more importantly a list of those clearly not allowable should be listed, and a legally binding charter of conduct on them drawn up and signed by ALL MP’s and those in the House of Lords.
    Allowances in dispute go through IPSA and a decision made in one month.
    Those who transgress should be punished and publically named and shamed, and if serious enough kicked out of their seat, and a bye election called.

    Like

  37. 83
    Anonymous says:

    There are some things money can’t buy
    For everything else there’s IAmYourMasterCard

    Priceless!

    Like

  38. 84
    Anonymous says:

    Guido I think you are right about providing a card. I work part ime for an MP and feel the system whereby an MP pays out of his own bank account for a telephone, or photocopying paper, or travel costs related to work, then claims back is absurd. I would imagine that it will also cause no end of personal accounting and tax problems for the MPs as well.

    Contrary to opinions expressed here, not all MPs are rich or wish to milk the system. It is only fair that LEGITIMATE expenses are dealt with efficiently, otherwise only rich people can become MPs.

    I worked for commercial organisations for over 25 years so I have experience of how expenses are managed in the ‘real world’. Staff who had regular high expenses – say hotel and travel were issued with a company credit card. They would keep receipts and supporting documents etc and reconcile these with the credit card statements, monthly. The company would then pay the card. If expenses were not legitimate the staff member would re-imburse the company for that item. A similar system operated for company supplied mobiles (a colleague of mine had to re-imburse £800 having spent rather too long on the company mobile ringing her boyfriend in Abu Dhabi).

    Staff who had infrequent high expenses – like myself who flew only twice a year – would submit an application in advance with reasons for travel signed by the line manager. The ticket would be booked on a general company card.

    May I add that organisationally IPSA is not working. They have made many mistakes in paying my salary – both the amount and tax. I am trying to sort out my tax today – for months I have being paying high rate tax on my entire salary (which is well under the high tax level) due to IPSA errors! Considering how much IPSA costs this is inescusable. In previous jobs I would pop up to payroll and any salary and tax issues would be dealt with promptly in a face to face meeting. With IPSA it is anonymous e-mail and phone numbers with no individual taking responsibility (or even responding to messages). I can manage – my mortgage is paid off and have a little money in my bank. However if this had happened 5 years ago it would have had terrible consequences – I would be defaulting on my mortgage by now being so drastically underpaid for months.

    P.S. Before anyone complains please note that I am writing this on a non working day from my home computer so I am not abusing tax payer time or facilities writing this comment.

    Like

    • 126
      GrumpyBearz says:

      Gosh I wish I had your rose-tinted specatcles concerning the honesty of MPs!

      Can you genuinely suggest that ALL 650 Troughers will pay by HoC Credit Card and then repay the unapproved expense if the HoC refuses to countenance the credit card use …

      The whole saga of how rotten the Parliamentary Expenses Scheme and how laugable it became was because MPs WERE claiming for items such as grass cutting, ivy clearing, Jaffa Cakes, Porn Films, Duck Houses and other expenses which have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the expenses they incur doing their ‘supposed’ job.

      ‘Your’ MP may be whiter than white (I say this very tongue-in-cheek!) but the moment (s)he use the HoC Card and gets refused the expense do you really believe (s)he is going to be any happier with the Card as an expenses scheme than (s)he is with IPSA.

      The truth of the matter is that the MPs dislike IPSA because (a) it is doing its job as an INDEPENDENT scrutineer of MPs’s Expense Claims and (b) the MPs are being asked to pay out of their salaries expenses that they feel entitled to claim regardless of proper receipts, honour and moral rectitude. Items that MPs took for granted as ‘legitimate’ Expense Claims for years on end are now being denied and made a Salaried Expense and they hate the idea that they are being told the truth that Private Sector business expense claimants have to accept on a day-to-day basis.

      Like

    • 147
      Righty Right Wing (Mrs) says:

      You just dont get it.

      Like

  39. 85
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    O/T i know but just listen to this guy’s voice

    im sure somebody could give him a job

    Like

  40. 86
    Privileges for the few NOT the many says:

    Simple and effective but it will never be agreed by MPs who feel that it is their god-given right to claim various superannuated perks all on the taxpayer and have learnt absolutely nothing from the debacle in 2009 .After all as someone said..”We’re all in this together !” but don’t expect US ,MPs, to pay the bills

    Like

  41. 89
    Predictive Texting says:

    I started to read the name on the card, got to “A BACK…” and my brain automatically completed it with “STABBER”!

    True!

    Like

  42. 96
    Mongwatch 2011 says:

    If you’re going to write “let’s” shouldn’t you write “Han’s”?

    Like

  43. 98
    Hugh Janus says:

    Since so many MPs have demonstrated so very clearly that they are not to be trusted with handling taxpayers’ money, we need a system that puts the greatest possible distance between it and them. The H of C debit card is certainly a start, but it is not by any means enough.

    I would favour a modest salary increase in return for the KitKats, the bath plugs, the full Sky packages, the manure and every other petty so-called expense they seek to load onto the public purse. I would also set up a central bureau for the supply of research and office staff, with the staff supplied to be paid for, and supervised, out of central funds.

    If an office away from Westminster is necessary, it should be approved, hired, and paid for, directly out of central funds.

    No more personal accommodation, even rented, to be paid for by the taxpayer, but a deal set up for discounted, modest hotel rooms whenever staying away from home.

    The sooner we stop this nonsense the better. The current spin operation against IPSA may make MPs feel better, but they will continue to dig themselves into an even bigger hole (if that were possible). They have to be made to realise that nothing they are being asked to do is at all unusual in the private sector, and in some cases the arrangements they have are generous.

    Like so many others I remain sickened by their greed and their ‘snouts in the trough’ mentality, and currently they are doing nothing to address this perception, quite the opposite in fact. Their whining and bellyaching does them no favours whatsoever, it’s all falling on deaf ears as far as I’m concerned.

    Like

  44. 101
    smoggie says:

    There’s not a single spelling mistake in either post. Clearly this is an imposter Billy.

    Like

  45. 111
    Old Ming says:

    Chinese proverb:

    “Before new system announced, send word to regulator that next time it must be better”.

    Like

  46. 112
    String emUp says:

    FFS – MPs are not a special case , why do they need a different set of rules. They can have the same rules as everyone else and fight HMRC tooth and nail for every penny like everyone else has to. If they are not satisfied with that then let the rest of the population enjoy the same rules the MPs have. They are not a special case however much they might like to think they are.

    Like

    • 116
      Aesop o'Sardis says:

      IPSA – or whatever it becomes or is replaced by – will remain essentially the same thing. It is a scam to conceal the greed and dishonesty of the majority of MPs. The kind of person who wants to become an MP is an ego maniac who is infected with the mentally unbalanced notion that they are so special that the people need them to decide how we should live.

      They all need a good kicking and I would very much like to see a violent insurrection and to see many of them in prison. In the meantime, in disgust at their incompetence and dishonesty, I am withdrawing as much as possible from the sorts of activities that help and support them. I hope others will have similar ideas, i.e…

      becoming as economically inactive as possible

      stop using mobile phones for anything other than business or family emergencies

      give up twitter and other social but unnecessary compulsive communication channels

      stop watching or listening to the BBC

      stop watching TV

      stop reading newspapers

      stay out of pubs, buy drink from supermarkets or home brew

      take early retirement

      grow my own vegetables, keep chickens

      give up expensive hobbies for a year

      walk more, drive less

      In short, I am going on financial strike. I am pig sick of being taxed for earning, for spending, for viewing, for driving to work, for not having my rubbish collected etc. etc.

      Let’s all have a national General Economic Strike – avoid taxation by all means possible to tell the thieving liars and arrogant bastards that we want them to shut the fuck up, piss off and get proper jobs and leave us alone to live our own lives as we see fit.

      Like

  47. 113
    The general public says:

    Hang on, didn’t parliament approve IPSA and all the rules that go with it?

    Either way it’s another example of MP’s expecting to be treated differently from the general public where, for those lucky enough to be able to claim expenses, mostly have a much more rigerous system than the IPSA one.

    This is my first rant of 2011……and it’s on the topic of MP expenses!

    Same old same old…….

    Like

    • 118
      Hugh Janus says:

      Yes, and I seem to recall comments by MPs and party leaders to the effect that they now have an independent system that is out of their hands and free from interference?? Obviously what they omitted to say was that if they didn’t like their expenses being under the spotlight then they would simply abolish the organisation responsible for policing them.

      So many of these people are more interested in lining their own pockets than serving those who put them there. They also demonstrate just how far they are out of touch – reimbursement upon production of receipts has been with the rest of us for a very long time, so they had better get used to it.

      Like

  48. 117
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD says:

    can you imagin if they did have credit cards
    the number of cash withdrawals highlighted
    from the cash machine at KingsCross station ?

    Like

  49. 119
    Eileen Critchley says:

    Fiddles by MP’s pale into insignificance compared to the back handers and dodgy deals being done at local level.

    The corruption is networked and well organised but its perpetrated by people you’ve never heard of so consequently doesn’t make for sexy news.

    Its time the great and the good of our so called free press shined their lights on local government.

    Its all there lads! you just have to dig a bit and be prepared to ignore the warnings from on high to back off.

    Like

  50. 120
    Anon E. Mouse says:

    Guido, I’m with #11, #86 and #114 here.

    a) MP’s are not more special that anyone else
    b) IPSA doesn’t work and costs way too much
    c) Any form of expenses system with this bunch of professional political ingrates won’t work.

    IMHO the only solution is to give them a modest increast (say £20k) and abolish both IPSA and the entire system of expenses forcing them to do what the majority of the population do and live within their means.

    If they wish to have 1st class rail/air travel that’s fine but they then can spend in of anything else.

    Like

    • 124
      Hugh Janus says:

      I would certainly agree that IPSA is too expensive, but in this exceptional case I am happy to overlook the expense on the basis that anything that separates MPs from their thieving is money well spent.

      Like

      • 132
        Anon E. Mouse says:

        Sorry, disagree ~£3m pa is at least £2.5m too much. I’d hire some of those at the the ‘poverty level’ (60% median income) and see if they think moat clearing, duck houses, 1st class travel, food and porn for their spouses are ‘necessary for a Member to incur to ensure that he or she could
        properly perform his or her parliamentary duties’.

        Given this scenario I’d guess that the majority of claims would be rejected.

        MP – This is a claim of lunch
        Expenses Reviewer – £100 ! Savoy ! What did you have, Champagne ?
        Alan Johnson – “Do you know who I am ?”
        Expenses Reviewer – “Yes. You want lunch, you pay for it yourself. Request denied”

        Like

  51. 127
    GrumpyBearz says:

    Get some IPSA Public Consultation Responses in here: http://www.ipsa-home.org.uk/Consultations_January2011_Annual_Review.html

    To counteract the 650 Troughers each getting their multiple bogus & fraudulent suggestions recorded and corrupt the end result!

    Like

  52. 135
    annnnonyperson says:

    And for small purchases (many shops do not allow the use of Debit Cards beneath a certain limit) there could be an option for a petty cash system (drawn on the card) with a limit -say- £30-£40 a month, supported by receipts. Any spending not supported by receipts, the money would automatically be transfered from the MPs wages.

    Like

  53. 137
    Anonymous says:

    They should be allowed to claim only what HMR&C says the private sector can claim, as per http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/incometax/how-to-get.htm#1.

    Fill out a P87 like the rest of us, piglets!

    Like

  54. 139
    Taxfodder says:

    Funny how profit making companies can regulate their employees expenses, also funny how if expenses are abused and monies misappropriated sackings follow, sometimes imprisonment.

    MP’s wingeing about their expenses can only mean one thing, IPSA is working, if MP’s don’t like the system they can always resign, No..thought so!

    Like

  55. 146
    Ludwig says:

    Bring back Elizabeth Filkin and put her in charge of expenses.

    http://tinyurl.com/ras8p6

    Like

  56. 148
    Denis Cooper says:

    http://www.ipsa-home.org.uk/docs/Annual_Review_Jan2011_Consultation.pdf

    Page 8.

    “11. Further, since the Scheme came into operation on 7 May 2010, IPSA has responded to the needs of MPs and their staff in a number of ways, including …

    … c. implementing a number of simplifications in payment processes to reduce the volume of expenses flowing through MPs’ bank accounts. MPs can now ask IPSA to pay landlords directly, the use of the payment card has been extended from travel to cover payment of utilities and council tax bills …”

    “The payment card is provided by IPSA to MPs to use for a specified range of expenditure.”

    Like

  57. 150
    The Red Pawn says:

    Good idea Guido.

    Like

  58. 153
    Dave H says:

    IPSA should remain until Parliament has sorted out all the other quangos. As a reward for removing the mindless bureaucracy and red tape from the lives of everyone else, not to mention the tax burden, MPs will be given a simpler and easier system to handle their expenses.

    Like

  59. 156
    I hate New Labour says:

    What a surprise.

    After all the bold words and promises, the sleazy greedy b*stards can’t wait to get their noses back in the trough.

    Cameron = Blair mk 2, he’s now using the same tactic of bribing backbenchers with increased allowances.

    I hope all the greedy f*ckers drop dead.

    Like

  60. 157
    gildedtumbril says:

    We are burdened with too many Mps. At the moment 650 too many. The greedy bastards need culling and then we need no more than 150 ‘ honest members’. Can they be found? Not among the thieving bastards we have at present. As for the House of scumbags…All need similar treatment and 100 new ‘honest’ if they can be found is more than sufficient. None should be ‘elevated’ merely because of skilled fraud or melanin enhancement or both.Even if their traversement occured through the round window.

    Like

  61. 158
    ButcombeMan says:

    A Parliamentary Credit Card? Well maybe Guido. Let us not forget the massive abuse of such cards in that centre of absolute probity, Sir Ian Blair’s New Scotland Yard.

    Let us not forget how long it took for something to be done about it under that wonderful MetPol Commissioner of absolute integrity, Sir Ian Blair.

    Let us not forget those (some of them very senior) staff ,who had to be “let go” when the MetPol scandal broke.

    Of course most were “let go” with no questions asked.

    Like


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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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