Thought you lot might be interested in this.... IPSA are currently having a public consultation on MP Expenses - I put in the response below. Why don't more people tell the elected representatives to be respectful of the public's cash - maybe we'll get somewhere!
Main IPSA site
Expenses Consultation site
[HPCWAITER] to schemeconsulta.
show details 7:42 PM (1 minute ago)
I do not believe that MP's should be allowed in any way to profit beyond what they are paid in salary for the completion of their work. Expenses should in no way be allowed that would allow any MP a quality of life benefit over and above that of the poorest taxpayer.
A single apartment block should be built or purchased, where all MPs and Lords could stay overnight should they need to where required solely in the completion of their duties. I find it to be a total farce that I am paying mortgage payments or rent in one of the most expensive cities in the world for people who have chosen to do a particular job - this simply does not happen in the private sector. Paying mortgages from public funds is akin to theft, and paying rent is not providing value for the taxpayer. Why not spend this money on one building, once, and maintain that one building without allowing individual MPs subsidisation on housing when they are on over double the average wage. This way over time the cost is paid off, rather than creating a system where taxpayers must perpetually fund accommodation which will permanently be required.
No furnishings, luxury items, food, drink, magazine/news subscriptions, or entertainments should be payable on expenses. The public have to pay for these things, and so should MPs. Basic furnishings as would be found in a non-luxury hotel should be purchased for the single building of MP apartments, and MPs should be forced to pay for any damage they cause - as would occur in the private sector.
No buildings work, insurance, repairs or maintenance for first or second homes should be payable on expenses. This would not arise were there a single building.
No MP should be permitted to rent accommodation from any other MP or Lord. This effectively allows MPs to swap houses and take taxpayer money as 'rent' when in fact this is paying their mortgage interest and more besides. This is THEFT pure and simple.
I believe that a reasonable travel allowance should be made, as I accept that MPs do have to represent their constituencies. No MP or Lord within Greater London should be allowed to claim any travelling expenses between constituency and Parliament.
I do not believe that the Lords should receive any kind of payment, whether as salary or expenses whatsoever - they are not elected, cannot be removed, do not represent the taxpaying public and traditionally this seems to be nothing more than an old boys club for the ruling elite who then seem to exist only to make sure that only those laws pass which offer either personal benefit or benefit to their corporate sponsors.
All expenses should have to be pre-authorised by IPSA before the money is spent, and documentary evidence provided after this taxpayer money has been spent. A lack of authorisation OR proof of expenditure should result in non-payment.
Constituency offices should be purchased by the state for the use of the local MP in each constituency. The costs of running these should be centrally managed, and MP's should not be able to pick and choose where their offices are. This will mean that the costs can be centrally managed to provide economies of scale, rather than allowing individual MPs to select expensive or luxurious surroundings. It would also mean that it is no longer possible for MP's and dishonest landlords to defraud the taxpayer by taking one level of payment while invoicing for another.
MP's should not be allowed to employ any members of their families, or the families of other MPs. Jobs in constituency offices should be advertised centrally, and rather than have individual MPs responsible for paying staff, these should also be paid centrally. Jobs in constituency offices should not terminate when a government falls, as this means a lack of continuity for the people of that constituency.
All MPs expenses should be published in full with no redaction.
No proportion of capital gains from ownership of property funded by the taxpayer should be kept by MPs. This is the taxpayers profit, if there is any.
MPs should not be allowed to use any taxpayer money to create promotional materials for either their party or themselves as individuals. Business cards are unnecessary, as they are elected by the people, and they should be representing the people. Constituency communications should not be allowed to carry political bias, and if they do then they should not be paid for by the taxpayer.
No expenses should be paid to MPs in respect of the costs of their family members. This is not contrary to the right to a family life, the public do not elect the families of MPs, and moreover, no-one forces MPs to apply for the job in the first place. If they do not like the job and its requirements, LEAVE.
ABOVE ALL NO CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED THAT IS NOT ENTIRELY INCURRED BY THE MP CARRYING OUT THE DUTY OF GOVERNMENT.
I would happily discuss my views above should IPSA choose to contact me in relation to these views.
A taxpayer who has not claimed a penny in expenses despite being allowed to do so, working in the private sector.