Hundreds submit views on future of MPs' expenses

By Andrew Woodcock,Press Association
Monday 15 February 2010 18:47

More than 2,500 people and organisations responded to a five-week consultation on the future of MPs' expenses, it was announced today.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will consider the submissions before finalising a new system for House of Commons expenses and allowances.

Details of the new scheme are due to be published during March, in time for it to come into effect when the new Parliament gathers after the general election.

Chairman Sir Ian Kennedy has made clear that IPSA will take account of the recommendations for reform drawn up last year by the Committee for Standards in Public Life under Sir Christopher Kelly, but does not regard its hands as being tied by them.

The Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, which established the body, required it to consult MPs, MPs' staff and other interested parties, as well as the Kelly Committee, in drawing up the new scheme.

Over the past five weeks, meetings have been held with members of the public, 2,259 responses have come through IPSA's dedicated website and 444 emails and letters have also been received. All representations will be published.

Sir Ian said: "IPSA is under an obligation to consult particular individuals and organisations and that is what we have been doing. But we invited a wide range of groups and individuals to join this process too and we are particularly pleased with the response.

"All views will be examined carefully and will help us shape the final scheme which we will publish next month.

"Our timetable is tight. But we are now solely focused on producing a workable and effective new scheme of expenses that helps restore public confidence and enables MPs in the next Parliament do the work we elect them to do."

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