March 18th, 2014

IPSA Good Start

IPSA has today announced its latest proposals for reform of the MPs’ expenses scheme. Some of them are not bad ideas, such as publishing MPs’ landlords’ names and addresses each year, publishing details of contingency payments and further scrutiny of MPs’ mortgage interest subsidy and capital gains repayments. Most of these reforms would not be implemented until after the election however. Even then they do not go far enough.

Guido has said it before 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?


  1. 1
    John says:

    MPs already have a credit card for paying for travel, utility and phone bills so could definitely be extended


    • 25
      jdseanjd says:

      This works Guido, therefore it will never happen. Simples innit. :)


      • 42
        All MP's of the McShane, Laws, Darling, Miller etc persuasion ie scummy con-men/women says:

        But we wouldn’t be able to milk the system.


        • 46
          Mr Brown Fife. says:

          Could I still funnel money to my brother via a fictitious cleaner ?


          • broderick crawford says:

            it could help or it could be carte blanche for limitless spending

            There is nothing to stop someone debiting for thirty quids worth of biscuits or fivethousand for a duck pond .

            It s all down to IPSA having a credible sysyem of sanction as regards the probity if certain expenses and hsving the ” Balls”(?!) to reject the blatantly unacceptable ones. Also cards should have a monthly limit represented by a twelfth of the yearly mp s individual allowance based on his/her personsl situation . Expenses which breach this limit to be brought to IPSA for scutiny and a final public binding decision .


          • Hamish Macbeth says:

            “”It s all down to IPSA having a credible system of sanction””

            IPSA has one … it is called “Misconduct in a public office” a serious criminal offence triable on indictment only (to Crown Court).

            Unfortunately this offence seems only to be used against police and prison officers …. it’s catch all ability means that countless politicians could have been strung up with it … but weren’t


      • 47
        The Corrupt 2 Houses at Westminster says:

        We don’t do logic.
        We do do corruption.


    • 34
      Myfanwy says:

      “MPs have called for a fairer and simpler system” fair to whom, odds on it’s them not the tax payer, and simpler system that can be very easily fiddled.


  2. 2
    House of Troughers says:

    The last thing we want is greater scrutiny.


  3. 3
    Dodgy D. Laws says:

    My landlord doesn’t accept debit cards.


  4. 4
    Ed Balls Super Fan says:

    How about they spend their own money !


    • 45
      RightwinggitRedux says:

      They haven’t got their own money, it’s our money.


      • 48
        Westminster Troughers' Union - Wer'e all in it together says:

        What belongs to me belongs to me.
        What belongs to you really belongs to me.


  5. 5
    House of Ill Repute says:

    We think a simple cash based system would be the easiest to administer.

    This would require minimal overheads, just someone filling up a stationary cupboard with used £20’s a few times a day.

    What’s not to like?


  6. 6
    C O (Ξ7c) says:

    i) What is the kick back from the bank who will be issuing the proposed cards ?

    ii) BoJo is unsuitable to consider as a party leader and potential PM due to his unstable family situation. He would be subject to easy manipulation through family court actions – which are of course in camera.


  7. 7
    Bobea says:

    Couldn’t there be issues in terms of security, though? I am a bit wary of non-Party landlords’ names and addresses being published as it is, I’d be happy with a signed declaration from the MPs saying the landlords are not connected parties.
    Personally, I’d be happier if they could only claim for meals on the Parliamentary estate, instead of their local eateries (I’ve seen my local MP at the tandoori on a late night, no doubt he claims £15 for it the following day). Also, CHRISTMAS and BUSINESS CARDS… *strangles someone*


    • 27

      Why not make them live on their salary like the rest of us

      TRAVEL……… ….on expenses
      RENT ……… on expenses
      FOOD…………… .on expenses
      ENTERTAINING…..on expenses
      Their salaries must go into a nice little nest egg, along with their useful little pensions ,the only way is to scrap expenses altogether ,if they don’t like it there is plenty of opportunity to find alternative work !


      • 36
        Myfanwy says:

        Instead of expenses why not give them allowances, so at least we get tax back, the more they claim the more they are taxed.


      • 44
        I have SO much respect for any MP you'd care to name, SO much respect (my arse) says:

        Mistresses, toyboys, expenses for online come-meet-me-boys underpants, vaseline, …. the list goes on.


    • 28

      Happier if they could only claim meals on the parliamentary estate are you mad ?
      When did you last get free meals at work . Their security is no more important than any one else’s


  8. 8
    Max Clifford says:


  9. 9
    Danielle Stevens says:

    70% of our law is now made by the EU – surely we can reduce our overall Westminster costs accordingly?

    Our Parliament is a mere regional assembly, a tourist attraction for Yanks to gawp at.


    • 37
      Myfanwy says:

      The HoC is now the the official replacement for the old Bethlehem Hospital of Victorian times where public could pay to look at the inmates during their bedlam moments.


  10. 10
    Nobby says:

    I’ve got a better idea.

    Why don’t they set up a charity each, similar to ‘The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown’, and then then just pay all of their expenses out the accounts of each of their charities.

    Thus saving the taxpayers a fortune!


  11. 12
    A shirt lifting MP says:

    A HoC credit card…now that would come in handy for impressing the rent boys!


  12. 14
    Fire up the Quattro says:

    Oh my goodness. Did I just hear on the good old Beeb. Victoria Derbyshire call the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Johan Lamont?


  13. 18
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Why does Putin even bother lying. Is it for his own benefit?


    • 24
      Nightmare says:

      Putin’s speech is superb. Ripping the western hypocrisy apart. I entirely agree with him.
      Oh that we had a leader in the UK, as opposed to a spud faced PR spoofer, or the alternative, a total and complete inept fucking wanker like Miliband


  14. 19
    House of Ill Repute says:

    We approve


  15. 20
    Union of MPs says:

    I’ll tell you what we’ll do. We’ll ignore this suggestion for a while. Then we’ll say it might be a good idea and set up a committee (with suitable expenses) to investigate. Then years later we’ll start a pilot scheme starting with paper clips, perhaps moving on to stamps later on.


  16. 21
    KISS says:

    Just give ‘em 50 quid cash for each day they attend the parliament and let them spend it any way they like.


  17. 22
    The unelected Cathy Ashton says:

    Just never get the accounts audited that is the cheapest solution.


  18. 23
    Ed Balls says:

    I hope they don’t tighten it up right now, I’ve just claimed for two big bunches of commemorative memorial flowers for my friends and comrades Tony and Bob.


  19. 29
    john in cheshire says:

    The remuneration and expenses given to MPs should be at the discretion of the people in the constituency which they are supposed to be serving and not some MP construct that is answerable to the very people it is supposed to monitor.


  20. 30
    Handycock says:

    Not all my activities accept debit cards.


  21. 31

    After 48 years work ,on the few occasions that I have been able to claim expenses , they had to be first justified and all receipts submitted to the accounts office for scrutiny .
    The only way the troughers get away with it is the attitude that it’s ‘only taxpayers ‘ cash there’s plenty more where that came from, we should string the bastards up!!!


  22. 32
    the mystic mould with the appearance of the face of Jesus says:

    consumption is to be encouraged, it doesn’t really matter who is the person who receives because the person who provided the service or who manufactured the item gets paid. It is the growth, waste and consumption that is important to keep going.


  23. 33
    the mystic mould with the appearance of the face of Jesus says:

    are MPs salaried employees ? If not employees then they can claim expenses against taxation ?


    • 38
      Myfanwy says:

      Expenses, they should get allowances, not quite the same thing


      • 40
        SIZE 14 CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

        NO they should live on their salary like everybody else if they don’t like it , simple ,resign there is plenty of work in TESCOS


  24. 49
    Penfold says:

    Why give the bastards expenses, let ‘em survive as the plebs do on basic pay.

    If they require housing in London then we should convert a government owned building in central London into a Parliamentary Travelodge. They can trough at the Westminster canteens and pay real prices, like everyone else.

    Bloody conniving, thieving, lying scum.


  25. 54
    Anonymous says:

    “proposals for reform”
    When police, politics and papers cannot be trusted to independently monitor the activities of each other, then the public must undertake that task. They are, after all, supposedly the servants of us. So a series of competent retirees could surely be regularly elected locally. To review and report for free, on the innermost workings of these ‘services’.


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