IPSA, the expenses regulator, plans to lift the current three journey per year cap
MPs will have unlimited travel to Europe on the taxpayer after Brexit, under controversial new plans drawn up by IPSA.
The MPs expenses regulator plans to lift the three journey per year cap currently on MP’s travel “to and from other states in Europe.”
But MPs will be banned from employing their spouse or kids in a new shake up of expenses rules.
A quarter of MPs have a relative on the payroll and the parliamentary watchdog will not sack those currently employed but ban any new hires from 2020.
Announcing a new rulebook for MPs following a public consultation, the IPSA said: “given the UK’s expected exit from the EU, MPs may in future have an increased role in representing their constituents in Europe.”
Tory MPs had argued that the referendum result meant that travel to Europe had “increased relevance and importance,” but the Labour Party had argued to keep strict limits.
All travel will be published and will have to be linked to parliamentary activity.
Westminster sleaze busters the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority added: “employing family members was “out of step with modern employment practice, which requires fair and open recruitment to encourage diversity in the workplace.”
Some 151 of the the 650 MPs at Westminster employ family members, including 84 Conservatives, 50 Labour and 10 SNP MPs.
Tory grandee Sir Roger Gale, whose wife Suzy has worked as his office since he entered Parliament in 1983, described the decision as “crass”.
He hit out: “Superficially, this is an easy hit for anybody wanting to show they are doing something. Actually, it is crass and they will live to regret it — and so will the House and its MPs.”
But last night the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “it is unfortunate that there have been isolated cases which have raised questions as to whether some of these appointments are value for taxpayers’ money.”
Campaigner Dia Chakravarty added: “These rules need to be looked at it in more detail. What would be the process in place to decide if a European trip was essential in carrying out parliamentary duties?”