UK Politics

MPs agree expenses review details

Houses of Parliament
Image caption Ipsa was created by the 2009 Parliamentary Standards Act following the expenses scandal

MPs have agreed changes to a committee which will seek to change their independently run expenses scheme.

The old Members' Allowances committee - which has been dormant since the new scheme began - is being renamed the Members' Expenses Committee.

It will review the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, which set up the new expenses body, by 31 December.

After the expenses scandal, all parties agreed that the old system of self-regulation of expenses must end.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has been running the new expenses scheme since the general election.

'Needs amendment'

But many MPs have expressed anger at the way the new system has been run complaining it is too bureaucratic, too complex and time consuming and that they are having to fund some of their expenses out of their own pockets.

Although Ipsa is independent - MPs have decided to review the legislation which set it up, with a view to making changes.

Shadow Commons deputy leader Helen Jones said the scheme "clearly needs amendment": "It is imperative that we get to a sensible position which both maintains confidence in the scheme and does not use up too much time of honourable members, who are, I think, fast becoming the highest paid data-inputting clerks in the country."

A National Audit Office report out on Thursday says Ipsa is safeguarding public money - but should do more to address the amount of time MPs and their staff were spending inputting claims and the "labour intensive nature of certain elements of the claims process".

Deputy Commons leader David Heath said the government was "keen that the committee is set up without any more unnecessary delay and gets on with the important work the House has tasked it with."

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