Michael Savage: With one House put in order, the Lords could well be next

Share
Related Topics

Just days after Sir Ian Kennedy was handed the task of devising an expenses system that would put an end to duck houses, moat clearances and publicly funded trips to Ikea, it appeared his conclusions would not draw the line under the scandal that party leaders had hoped for.

Rumours immediately surfaced that Sir Ian, the new chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) felt no need to endorse the radical reforms devised by Sir Christopher Kelly, Westminster's standards watchdog. Not only did he doubt the legality of stopping MPs from profiting from the sale of their publicly funded second homes, he was also unconvinced they should be banned from employing family members.

The fierce reaction Sir Ian experienced in public forums soon convinced him allowing MPs to profit from the sale of their second homes was a non-starter. But while he was not afraid to take on the MPs over that issue, he seems to be slightly more cowed by their other halves. Ipsa's decision to allow the employment of one family member came after a cross-party campaign led by Suzy Gale, the wife of the Tory MP Roger Gale. Sir Ian and the Ipsa board were persuaded that family members often provided the best value for money. What will anger voters more is the suspicion that Sir Ian valued the views of MPs above that of the public – he said he considered the "quality" not just the "quantity" of opinions received.

His concession risks overshadowing what is, taken as a whole, a tougher regime than many MPs had feared, with the total amount they can claim drastically cut.

However, one glaring problem remains. While elected politicians will be subjected to an independent, rigorous and transparent expenses system, their unelected counterparts down the hall in the Lords will be under far less scrutiny. Privately, Sir Ian would like to see peers come under the control of Ipsa. After all, its name refers to all of Parliament, not just the Commons. So to any peers who have been perusing a catalogue of the latest duck-related real estate: you have been warned.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The campaigning is over. So now we wait...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
In this handout provided by NASA from the the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, weather system Arthur travels up the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida in space. The robotic arm of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System or Canadarm2 is seen at upper right. According to reports, Arthur has begun moving steadily northward at around 5 kt. and the tropical storm is expected to strike the North Carolina Outer Banks  

Thanks to government investment, commercial space travel is becoming a reality

Richard Branson
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week