MPs will have to submit receipts for expenses claims over £25 - instead of the current limit of £250 - from 1 April, the Commons Members Estimate Committee announced today.
The committee also said the amount of petty cash MPs can draw for office expenses would be reduced from £250 to £50 per month.
In a report published today as part of its review of MPs' allowances the committee, chaired by Speaker Michael Martin, said: "The Members Estimate Committee has instructed the Department of Resources that, with effect from April 1 2008, no claim against allowances of £25 or more per item will be reimbursed unless it is accompanied by a receipt."
The committee said it had considered introducing a zero threshold for receipted expenses but decided that would be impractical.
The MPs said that as some MPs already submitted receipts routinely even for items under the present £250 limit, they believed the new regime was "administratively feasible".
But the report adds: "We understand there may need to be some modest increase in House staff."
The committee also said it would publish proposals for better checks on expenses by the end of March.
Its report says: "The new low threshold for claims needs to be underpinned by a more robust regime for audit.
"The committee is determined to establish audit controls which command public confidence.
"Members have told us that they expect there to be a more rigorous system for checking the money has been spent on the purpose intended.
"Some have suggested that there should be a system of random spot checks on a percentage of members' claims.
"Meetings will be held with the National Audit Office, private firms of accountants, HM Revenue & Customs and the Audit Commission to establish what is the most practical and effective arrangement.
"In the issues paper we have undertaken to publish by the end of March, we will set out some possibilities to achieve a more rigorous audit regime."
The March report will cover all the issues being considered under the "root and branch review" of allowances set up after Tory MP Derek Conway was found to have been overpaying his son for office work.
The committee said: "Our emerging conclusions will be produced in May before a final report in time for a decision by the House in July."Reuse content