Wednesday, 11 May 2011

IPSA shake up?

It seems that both Labour and Tory leaders are having problems getting the troops in line to oppose Adam Afriyie MP’s backbench business motion tomorrow.

The motion calls for the Government to get on with an overhaul of IPSA – the body that administers the MPs expenses system. It reads:

That this House regrets the failure of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to introduce a simpler, cheaper and less discriminatory scheme of office expenses and Members’ allowances in accordance with the resolution passed by this House on 2 December 2010; calls on the Government to fulfil its commitment by making time available for a Parliamentary Standards Amendment Bill to implement a scheme which fulfils the criteria of the resolution; and instructs the Leader of the House to make time available no later than 19 July 2011.

Its appearance marks MPs’ more strident aggravation at IPSA which they say leaves them thousands of pounds out of pocket before the grinding system reimburses them for everything from office costs to their second home allowance.

New MPs in particular feel aggrieved, having played no part in the expenses scandal throughout 2008/09.

David Cameron is getting whips to lean on his troops to vote against the motion but a number are apparently determined to back it.

Labour apparently also wants to whip the vote but doesn’t want to do so if its MPs are going to back the motion anyway.

Both Cameron and Miliband apparently fear that it will not look good to the electorate, feeding the “they just don’t get it” mindset, and they are probably right.

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