IPSA Gives Another Taxpayer Boost to MPs’ Budgets

At the start of the pandemic, Guido was the first to report that MPs were to receive a huge boost to their expenses allowance, when IPSA raised their monthly credit card limit to £10,000; allowed items to be claimed for without proof of purchase; and increased office budgets by £10,000. Since then, IPSA has also changed rules to allow MPs to claim for taxis. We can’t expect our representatives to catch the plague-ridden public transport like the rest of the proles…

Yesterday, a further boost was announced, in the form of a £312 annual homeworking bonus for MPs’ staff, to cover their home telephone usage, internet, electricity and gas – all tax-free. If every parliamentary staffer – none of whose incomes have been hit by Coronavirus – claimed the allowance, it would cost the taxpayer £1.1 million…

MPs will also be able to request up £18,270 extra for their staffing budget to deal with “a rise in workload for their offices as a result of coronavirus” – up from the £10,000 allowance rise announced at the start of the lockdown.

Responding to the neverending parliamentary pandemic pocket-lining, The Taxpayers’ Alliance Duncan Simpson told Guido:

“MPs and their staff should not be getting budget top-ups for working from home when everyone else is being expected to just get on with it.

“Millions have been stuck in the house, looking after kids and cracking on with their day jobs – where’s their £312 annual homeworking bonus? 

Parliamentary authorities need to get a grip and stop pampering our politicos.”  

Guido can’t imagine this is the last excuse for picking the pockets of the public we’ll see from IPSA before the pandemic is out…

mdi-timer 26 June 2020 @ 11:15 26 Jun 2020 @ 11:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IPSA Warn MPs Not to Claim Local Authority Grants for Offices

IPSA is keen to avoid any further negative press after Guido revealed MPs had been awarded a huge Coronavirus boost to their expenses. On Friday they released a bulletin to MPs advising them to decline local authority small business grants they may have been offered in light of the pandemic. Accepting the taxpayer-funded grant is completely unnecessary given IPSA continues to pay out all costs…

The advice strictly tells MPs that if they have received a partial business rate refund from their local authority, the amount must be returned in full to IPSA. Guido wouldn’t put it past some MPs to have considered trying to claim the government handout…

mdi-timer 20 April 2020 @ 10:28 20 Apr 2020 @ 10:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Former MPs Allowed to Keep Taxpayer Bought Cameras, Lap-Tops & Computers

An email sent to former Members of Parliament from Parliament’s Digital Service Customer Relations team and seen by Guido, has informed former MPs that equipment purchased through IPSA expenses is not retrieved by Parliamentary IT, which only retrieves equipment it issued itself. This means MPs are able to keep any equipment purchased with IPSA credit cards. The same credit cards that three weeks ago Guido revealed were receiving a £10,000 limit boost…

“Equipment purchased personally or with an IPSA-issued credit card is yours to keep. All purchased equipment can be identified by a yellow label starting with ‘CMP’. However, the original software on any purchased computers is owned by Parliament and will no longer be licensed once your account is deleted.

This equipment will need to be reset to its factory settings for it be used again. Due to the security on the computer, the Digital Service will need to do this for you…

…The Digital Service will return privately purchased equipment to the address provided on the return label within 4 weeks, once the device has been factory restored.”

This bonkers system encourages MPs to buy the flashiest laptops they can, safe in the knowledge that Parliament’s Digital Services team will handily wipe the tech and hand it back to MPs for personal use…

One MP who in 2018 purchased a £2,000 laptop by this route was Tom Watson – meaning taxpayers coughed up a flashy personal gift on top of his £80,000 salary.

Not bad, eh?

mdi-timer 9 April 2020 @ 13:39 9 Apr 2020 @ 13:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Civil Service Canteens Close, MPs Keep Four Subsidised Restaurants Going

Last week Guido revealed MPs were to receive a major boost to their monthly credit card limit, taking them up to £10,000, to deal with Coronavirus. On top of this major cash boost, yesterday Sir Lindsay informed our public servants that whilst the sale of alcohol on the Parliamentary estate has come to an end, they still have access to no fewer than four restaurants and food outlets, namely:

  • Tea room
  • Terrace cafeteria
  • Debate
  • Despatch Box

The retaining of such  for MPs hasn’t gone unnoticed in Whitehall, where, by contrast, civil servants in the Cabinet Office have had both their food outlets closed. With all other catering outlets, including Greggs, in Westminster closed, Civil Servants, will be hungry for this pandemic to be over…

mdi-timer 24 March 2020 @ 16:35 24 Mar 2020 @ 16:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Bercow Rips Off Taxpayer with £12,000 Leaving Parties and £1,000 Taxi

We hoped we’d seen the last of Bercow-induced rage stories but just when you thought he was finally out of the public consciousness it has now been revealed he expensed a £1,000 taxi to Nottingham and his various leaving parties to the tune of £12,000 in his last few months. This is expenses scandal level…

The taxi journey, revealed thanks to a Daily Mail FoI, took Bercow from parliament to Nottingham Trent University, for a speech about how Parliament should respond to the ‘anti-politics age’. A good start would be not fleecing the taxpayer for your ego-induced jollies…

He also spent thousands on farewell tours, including:

  • £7,000 visit to the US (where he gave a speech encouraging MPs to block No Deal)
  • £3,696 retirement party for the Principle Clerk of the House
  • £3,187 retirement party for the Clerk of the House
  • £3,168 retirement party for the Speaker’s Chaplain
  • £2,376 retirement party for Commons ‘Invitations Secretary’
  • £1,400 dinner with presiding officers from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • £234 drinks bill for MPs
  • £118 Sky subscription
  • £74 Heathrow Express to Edinburgh festival

By contrast, when moving into speaker’s house last week, Sir Lindsay came down by train in standard class..

mdi-timer 14 January 2020 @ 10:02 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
EU Blocks Publication of MEPs’ Expenses – Again

The EU has again blocked the publication of MEPs’ expenses, with Euro-judges today quashing a three-year battle by journalists to get the documents published after the European Parliament itself previously refused to hand over any details. The judges in the ECJ’s sister court ruled that the Parliament was right not to publish the documents as it would enable the MEPs to be individually identified. That’s precisely the point…

Scandalously, MEPs will still be able to spend their annual €50,000 ‘General Expenditure Allowance’ – which they receive on top of their €100,000+ annual salary – without providing any proof of how the money of how the money was spent. MPs’ expenses were the political scandal of the decade in the UK – it’s just par for the course in Brussels…

So if the documents can’t be published because they would identify which MEPs are presently pouring your money down the drain, surely the EU will at least be making them available to the public in redacted form? Not so.

The European Court has blocked this too on the grounds that there wouldn’t be “any useful effect” in publishing the documents – precisely because they did not identify individual MEPs. Even Kafka’s worst nightmares can’t have come close to this…

mdi-timer 25 September 2018 @ 14:39 25 Sep 2018 @ 14:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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