The IPSA, set up in response to the MP excessive claims fiasco, states on its website, that it is:

" independent organisation created to bring a fresh approach to the system of paying MP expenses.  The IPSA will keep at the front of its mind its main duty – to serve the interests of  the public"

We have just 650 Members of Parliament. The IPSA  is busy establishing rules and regs designed to curb the excesses of MPs.  Surely those appointed to do this could exercise a little  flexibility, creativity and perhaps just  a dose of common sense if and when it enounters an occasional anomoly: an MP actually wishing to save us taxpayers unnecessary costs.

The case in question:  Nationalist MP for the Western Isles, Angus MacNeal, has appealed to the IPSA to allow him to continue to claim the sum of  £252 per month on his 2 bed London flat.  But, no, the IPSA has told him he cannot continue to submit this claim and must, effectively, claim up to £1,450 a month for a one bed flat and rent his existing flat out!

I don't doubt that the changes implemented by the IPSA are resulting in savings overall, but Mr. MacNeal, who has saved the taxpayer some £37,000 over the last 4 years, is now required to incur unnecessary expenses.    No doubt the IPSA will say in their defence that with any change there will be a handful of cases where people have to claim more.  What I would like to ask is, why is the IPSA is so unable to make sensible exceptions, clearly in line with its remit, and employ a little intelligence, discretion and judgement in the face of this sort of case.  Are the systems so incapable of a little flexibility in their application and if not, why not?


Why is this idea important?

This idea is important because it reflects the way in which red tape and bureaucracy eats into common sense judgement.

In this case, the IPSA,  specifically set up to restore the public's confidence in MPs by regulating their expense claims does not appear to have the ability to act in line with its core function and equally as worrying does not seem to have the authority or creativitiy to make exceptions in line with its remit.   Is there no one within the IPSA who can actually grant an exemption to the MP wishing to minimise his expense claim, rather than increase it nearly 6 fold?  And if not, why not?

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