MPs welcome planned expenses crackdown

SUFFOLK: Two of the county's MPs today welcomed the proposed crackdown on their perks and allowances which was ordered following the expenses scandal.

SUFFOLK: Two of the county's MPs today welcomed the proposed crackdown on their perks and allowances which was ordered following the expenses scandal.

Ipswich MP Chris Mole and Stowmarket, Needham and Bury MP David Ruffley said they accepted that public outrage over claims for moats, duck houses and mole killing has brought parliament's reputation to its knees.

Party leaders yesterday accepted Sir Christopher Kelly's report, which recommends that MPs should no longer be able to claim for their mortgages, employ family members at the taxpayer's expense, or claim cash for maintaining a second home.

Sir Christopher said: “The damage that has been done by what has been revealed about past malpractice and about the culture that goes with it has been very considerable.”


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A key recommendation is to establish an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) with the power to determine the pay and pensions of MPs as well as their expenses.

Labour MP Mr Mole, a junior transport minister, said he wanted the IPSA to put Sir Christopher's measures into practice as soon as readily possible.

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“Parliament voted for Kelly to advise IPSA on future arrangements and this must now happen,” he said.

“The government is committed to securing public closure on this issue, and I look forward to all MPs being able to focus on their primary purpose of serving the public.”

Tory MP Mr Ruffley, who is shadow police minister, said he welcomed the proposals “100 per cent” and insisted they should be accepted in full by every MP.

“I can find nothing in Sir Christopher's report that will discourage people of limited financial means from seeking to be an MP,” said Mr Ruffley.

“The current salary is considerably higher than the average national wage and is more than reasonable to sustain a parliamentary career.”

What's your view on Sir Christopher's crackdown? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Sir Christopher's report - key findings:

MPs to claim for rent not mortgages

Ban on employing relatives

Ban on MPs near London claiming for second home

Reduced resettlement grants

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