On your bike at 20p a mile

December 06, 2010 3:47 PM

Following the MPs' expenses scandal in 2009, we were vocal in highlighting the need for an overhaul to provide a better deal for taxpayers. The latest expense revelations pour fresh doubt on MPs’ priorities. While some have got the point, others are continuing to make bizarre claims.

Generally the scandalous claims have stopped or been rejected this time, but there were a surprising number of small pointless amounts being recorded. Lots of examples like: 54p for sugar, 20p for bicycle mileage, 84p for coffee. It indicates a worrying lack of common sense!  For the time it takes to fill out the form it simply isn’t worth it. With a salary of £64,000 why wouldn’t they just use the loose change in their pocket and move on? When I was responsible for running retail stores on a smaller salary, I had a petty cash budget but I wouldn’t add a tiny purchase onto my paperwork pile, that would be self defeating for anyone aiming to make a profit or paid based on efficiency.

Worth mentioning that it was nice to see some MPs have so far put in few claims and some of those MPs with their own fortunes have neglected to dip into the public purse at all. If only Clegg and 77 others who didn't claim could hope for an instant jump in approval ratings!

But some MPs still think they deserve a life of luxury out of reach of most of their own constituents. Forty MPs are still taking first class train tickets does slip inside the new rules if they were a cheaper option, but doesn’t sit well with the focus of the overhaul as they are clearly putting their own comfort ahead of taxpayers’ interests. Other examples of excessive travel costs coming from Gordon Brown who somehow spent £2,500 in travel to Westminster after he was no longer leader, although he only appeared in Parliament twice according to the Daily Telegraph.

It should be mentioned that the new ipsa expenses system has come under attack, particularly by MPs who scheduled a whinging session in parliament which went on for several hours, continuing on into the afternoon. Normally this time is allocated to their constituents, mirroring the original behaviour by showing a preference for their own interests rather than those of the taxpayers who elect them.

The new system isn’t perfect, mistakes and overspending by ipsa do give MPs some credible ammunition, the costs of running it needs to come down now the initial set up period is complete, but an overhaul had to happen to make the whole system more fair and their behaviour more credible.

However moaning MPs have missed a trick, this new system is as much for their benefit as for the taxpayers, rather than demand it is relaxed that they should be embracing the opportunity that transparency gives them to win back the trust of the electorate and show they have a sensible approach to managing the country’s finances.

To see what your own MP has been up to look on the ipsa website.Following the MPs' expenses scandal in 2009, we were vocal in highlighting the need for an overhaul to provide a better deal for taxpayers. The latest expense revelations pour fresh doubt on MPs’ priorities. While some have got the point, others are continuing to make bizarre claims.

Generally the scandalous claims have stopped or been rejected this time, but there were a surprising number of small pointless amounts being recorded. Lots of examples like: 54p for sugar, 20p for bicycle mileage, 84p for coffee. It indicates a worrying lack of common sense!  For the time it takes to fill out the form it simply isn’t worth it. With a salary of £64,000 why wouldn’t they just use the loose change in their pocket and move on? When I was responsible for running retail stores on a smaller salary, I had a petty cash budget but I wouldn’t add a tiny purchase onto my paperwork pile, that would be self defeating for anyone aiming to make a profit or paid based on efficiency.

Worth mentioning that it was nice to see some MPs have so far put in few claims and some of those MPs with their own fortunes have neglected to dip into the public purse at all. If only Clegg and 77 others who didn't claim could hope for an instant jump in approval ratings!

But some MPs still think they deserve a life of luxury out of reach of most of their own constituents. Forty MPs are still taking first class train tickets does slip inside the new rules if they were a cheaper option, but doesn’t sit well with the focus of the overhaul as they are clearly putting their own comfort ahead of taxpayers’ interests. Other examples of excessive travel costs coming from Gordon Brown who somehow spent £2,500 in travel to Westminster after he was no longer leader, although he only appeared in Parliament twice according to the Daily Telegraph.

It should be mentioned that the new ipsa expenses system has come under attack, particularly by MPs who scheduled a whinging session in parliament which went on for several hours, continuing on into the afternoon. Normally this time is allocated to their constituents, mirroring the original behaviour by showing a preference for their own interests rather than those of the taxpayers who elect them.

The new system isn’t perfect, mistakes and overspending by ipsa do give MPs some credible ammunition, the costs of running it needs to come down now the initial set up period is complete, but an overhaul had to happen to make the whole system more fair and their behaviour more credible.

However moaning MPs have missed a trick, this new system is as much for their benefit as for the taxpayers, rather than demand it is relaxed that they should be embracing the opportunity that transparency gives them to win back the trust of the electorate and show they have a sensible approach to managing the country’s finances.

To see what your own MP has been up to look on the ipsa website.

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