Thursday, 3 February 2011

IPSA, where's me dosh?

It would seem that MPs are not happy with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and the remuneration of their expense claims. The BBC reports here, ePolitix here  with a condemnation by Sir George Young; the Coffee House here and Raedwald posts here. Earlier today, on Politics Home, Tory Penny Mordaunt claimed that she was left with just £22 to live off over the Christmas period because of Ipsa.

Taking the BBC report as correct, IPSA paid out over a two months period £3.64million to 622 MPs, which averages out  £5,852 per MP and refused 248 MPs expenses worth just over £15,000 which averages out at £61/62 per MP. (if the calculator is correct!)  The BBC article states:
"The watchdog said it had rejected 248 claims, either in part or in full, between May and the end of October. These totalled just over £15,000. The BBC's Political Correspondent Carole Walker said these included a claim for £75 by Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman for the hire of a hall for a constituency surgery, a claim of £286.52 by the defence minister Peter Luff for payment for a mobile phone and a claim of £762 by the Labour MP Paul Flynn for a service charge on his accommodation."
Therein possibly lies the problem, illustrated by the fact that years ago, in a firm I was employed by, one young lady dealt with nearly 100 expense claims which had to be submitted by noon on the last Friday of each month and by the time employees went home at 5.30 they were in receipt of a company cheque in settlement. Yes, we too had constraints on 'claimable items' with the system based on 'no receipt - no settlement'. Unlike, it appears, Penny Mordaunt - and bear in mind this was before the days of credit cards - we had arrangements to cover the period between depositing our expenses cheque and clearance.

If our MPs spent as much time worrying about the emasculation of our democracy as they appear to spend worrying about their expenses, the country would not be in the mess it is - plus they would have earned what I consider to be 'exhorbitant sums'!


john in cheshire said...

WfW, I agree, I think because of the EU, MPs are under-occupied and can therefore obsess over their 'expenses'.
When I was working and incurring expenses, I had to incur the costs, obtain a receipt and only then make a claim. They were paid a month in arrears, but once the first month was passed, each subsequent month's payment for expenses incurred, approximately equalled my outlay. So, for MPs to bitch about being 'out of pocket' is a bit rich.
However, it sounds to me that their entitlements are still too high. If I was them I'd keep my bloody, whinging mouth shut and start earning their money by representing those who have elected them. But that's never going to happen with the dross we have to suffer, is it?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

What: what can I say other than I agree with every word!