‘Clean break’ for MPs’ expenses

Sir Ian Kennedy

The new House of Commons will signal a "clean break" with the old system of MPs’ expenses, the head of a parliamentary watchdog has promised.

Sir Ian Kennedy, chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), said there would be "fundamental change".

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the newly-created body would "come down like a ton of bricks" on any abuses.

The Commons will see an influx of new MPs after a record 149 stood down.

Members will be bound by a new system of claiming expenses overseen by the IPSA.

‘Clear set of rules’

Under the new system, MPs will not be allowed to buy taxpayer-funded second homes or claim for gardening and cleaning.

Maximum annual accommodation and office claims will be reduced, as will travel allowances.

Sir Ian said MPs’ allowances would be overseen very differently and he hoped the reforms would "begin to restore some confidence in democratic institutions".

He added: "We’ve got a clear set of rules, we’ve got very detailed guidance, all transparent – you, the electorate, everybody else will know what’s going on, it’ll be online."

Sir Ian added that there would be "significant safeguards" with regards to MPs employing their partners as parliamentary staff.

MPs will be able to employ one relative under the new system.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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