12 Decemeber 2011: IPSA press release in response to publication of CME report
We have read the latest select committee report on MPs’ costs and expenses with interest. We will consider their recommendations as we carry out our current annual review of the Scheme.
On some areas IPSA and the Committee are in agreement and, indeed, we have already introduced some of the suggestions they make.
However, the Committee’s words about the importance of independence are not consistent with many of their recommendations, in particular those which call for a return to the days when MPs and the House authorities administered their costs and expenses, and where MPs themselves had a role in deciding upon those costs and expenses. For example, the Committee recommends that IPSA be broken up with duties being returned to the House – reintroducing the arrangements of the past; and that the House, once again, should be given the powers to decide, for themselves what sort of system of expenses they benefit from.
Furthermore, the Committee explicitly threatens to override IPSA’s independent Board if they do not act as the Committee demands.
As we study the report we will be making an assessment of the cost to the taxpayer of the additional processes the Committee puts forward, which would inevitably cost the public purse more.
A recent survey conducted by YouGov for IPSA demonstrates strong public opposition to a system of allowances for MPs – 69 per cent believe MPs should continue to make claims for costs incurred and those claims should continue to be published.
Notes to Editors
• All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,684 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 16th November 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).