Extracting the Michael

The good news is that the MP’s expenses scandal in the UK seems to be spawning a new growth industry. The bad news is that it is going to cost the taxpayer a fortune and appears to be another case of jobs for the boys.

In the wake of the expenses scandal, the old Commons Fees Office is being replaced by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

This new IPSA is set to have lavish new offices built and equipped at a cost of £6.6 million, a staff of 80 and the chairman will be Sir Ian Kennedy, who will be earning in the region of £700 per day.

Not only that, but the old and disgraced Commons Fees Office will actually remain functioning. Why is anyone’s guess.

Apart from £6.6 million being spent on a new authority, the expenses scandal has already cost £1.1 million for an audit carried out by Sir Thomas Legg and £400,000 for an inquiry by standards chief Sir Christopher Kelly.

The amount of expenses to be paid back by MP’s only amounts to £1.12 million.

Questions that spring to mind are:

  • Why two bodies to monitor expenses?
  • Why lavish new offices?
  • How does it take a staff of 80 to monitor the expenses of 600 MP’s?

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