Kelly Report (2009)

Committee on Standards in Public Life Report on MPs' Expenses and Allowances: Supporting Parliament, Safeguarding the Taxpayer

It is accessible via the link below:

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has published its report on the future system of MPs' expenses. The key recommendations are:

* The new independent regulatory body already being set up should determine the pay and pensions of MPs as well as their expenses and should have the power to investigate and invoke non-parliamentary sanctions analogous to those operated by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

* Support for the mortgage interest should be brought to an end, with appropriate transitional provisions of one more Parliament or for 5 years. From now on there will be no further capital gains at public expense. It also means that 'flipping' will no longer be possible. Any capital gains made during the transitional period attributable to public support will be surrendered to the taxpayer.

* Going forward MPs should be reimbursed only for rent or hotel costs. The Committee recommend that the independent regulator use a central agency to source, maintain and handle payments on suitable properties. This arrangement will make it easier to recognise the needs of those with families or other needs as it will be possible for the agency to provide larger accommodation where necessary. The arrangement should start for those MPs elected for the first time to the next Parliament.

* The expenses scheme should only cover additional accommodation costs wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in pursuit of MPs' parliamentary duties - council tax, utility bills, telephone line rental and calls, security, contents insurance and removals at the beginning and end of a tenancy. The costs of cleaning, gardening, furnishings and other items should not be reimbursed or otherwise covered.

* MPs with constituencies within reasonable commuting distance of Parliament should no longer be entitled to additional accommodation and the London cost allowance should be reduced for all London MPs to the level proposed by the (SSRB) independent pay review body in 2007. The Committee have proposed a higher rate for those who commute from outside Greater London area to reflect their higher travel costs.

* The practice of employing family members should be brought to an end by the end of the next Parliament of five years. The Committee heard evidence of the dedication and hard work of many employed family. But the arrangements is not in accord with modern employment practice on which Parliament should be giving a lead, particularly since public money is involved and would not be accepted in other organisations.

* The communication allowance should be abolished.

* The £25 overnight subsistence allowance should in future only be available to MPs staying in hotels and against receipts.

* Only MPs whose departure is involuntary should receive the resettlement grant from the next general election after next. MPs who voluntarily step down will instead receive eight weeks' pay. Removal of the grant should also be considered as a sanction for those who are found to have abused the system.

* All expenses should be accompanied by receipts or documentary evidence and receipts or documentary evidence should continue to be published.

* MPs should not be prohibited from paid employment such as journalism outside the House, providing any such activity in reasonable limits. But it should be transparent and information about it should be drawn to voters' attention at election time.

* The report also proposes that the practice of allowing a Westminster MP to sit simultaneously in a devolved legislature, known as 'double jobbing' should be brought to an end, ideally by 2011.
You can also purchase the report if you don't have access to t'internet....
I heard a discussion on the radio today and people were saying they felt sorry for the MPs.Do they not realise we are talking about professional conmen/women here........................Politicians :!:
The proposals sound eminently fair and reasonable to me - reimbursement for necessary expenditure so that MPs do not have to subsidise their employment from their own pockets.

Salaries and other opportunities arising from being an MP are not inconsiderable and there should be no question about whether we are going to get the right csalibre of people looking for a carrer in public office (an argument I have heard from time to time by various individuals bleating over "erosion of remuneration and dilution of incentive to serve"
There has been one slight positive outcome from the MPs expenses scandal, I actually heard Peter Hain speak some sense on question time last night, must be the first time ever.
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