MPs to show receipts on expenses over £25

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Indy Politics

The amount MPs can charge for expenses without receipts is to be slashed to £25 after the revelations of parliamentary abuse of taxpayers' money.

MPs can currently claim £250 for expenses without receipts to justify the payments but, from1 April, the threshold will be cut down to just £25. The sum MPs can draw for petty cash from their office expenses is also being cut from £250 to £50 per month.

The changes come after public outrage when it was revealed the disgraced MP Derek Conway had paid his two sons more than £10,000 each for part-time roles.

Their total payments ran to more than £80,000 but he could not substantiate the work they did for him. The MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup was suspended from the Commons for 10 days in January, stripped of the Tory whip, and ordered to pay back £13,161. He later announced he was standing down at the next election.

It triggered a wider review that could force MPs to publish details of payments to their spouses and other members of their families. David Cameron, the Tory leader, ordered his front bench to make the disclosures voluntarily before the Commons tightens the rules but many MPs are resisting the move.

Gordon Brown's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister welcomes any steps towards greater transparency in MPs' expenses." Challenged on why Mr Brown did not publish his own expenses in full, the spokesman replied: "That's not his decision. It's a matter for the House authorities. We can't just start making one-off initiatives of this kind. There's an overall decision that needs to be taken by the House authorities."