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Commons clean up not so independent.

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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority stitched up by Brown

Just thought I’d mention this item before it gets completely buried along with Michael Jackson, but the Bill proposed by Gordon Brown’s government to clean up the MPs expenses affair is turning out to be rather different from that which he originally promised.

Instead of being transparent and independent the new authority proposed to deal with MPs and staff remuneration will have some it’s members chosen from the established and righteous. One should be an experienced parliamentarian and another must have judicial experience, and the whole body will need to be approved by a Speaker’s Committee. Furthermore, the same committee will be responsible for approving the appointment of a commissioner to oversee the IPSA.

Another little point, the Bill makes provision in the future for MPs who break the rules on expenses to simply offset that irregular claim against another valid claim!


An order under this section may provide that payments of allowances made to
a member of the House of Commons, to which the member was not entitled
under the rules mentioned in subsection (2)(a), may be set off against other
claims for allowances to be paid to that member.

It also looks though the members and chairman of the IPSA will be able to set their own salaries and pensions:

6     (1)

The terms and conditions on which a person is appointed as the chair of the


IPSA or as an ordinary member of the IPSA may provide for the IPSA—


to pay remuneration and allowances to the person;


to make provision for a pension in relation to that person.

Don’t know about you, but I agree with Guido, it looks like the public are about to be stitched up by a Speaker’s Committee, and a panel of sycophants ready to carry out the government’s wishes. The IPSA will also have the ability to create it’s own sub-committees and become a fully functioning quangocratic body.

Raedwald calls it Brown’s “tawdry and malignant Bill” and goes on to express his anger at the further reduction of Parliament’s powers of self control and determination only to be supplanted by a government quango:

You see, Brown’s new Quango doesn’t merely check MPs’ claims – it pays them. Rather than Parliament owning its own pay chest and being its own master, MPs will now be employed by the government. Brown has taken Parliament’s resources from them. And who decides just how much of Parliament’s property, rights and liabilities are to be transferred to the government? Why, a government minister, of course! With the complicity of Brown’s Speaker, Mr Bercow;

(9) A scheme made by virtue of subsection (8) is to be made by a Minister of the Crown with the consent of the person who chairs the House of Commons Commission.The last thing this nation needs is an Act that would pack the chamber with vile apparatchiks and ‘professional’ politicians, rob the Commons of its authority, turn our parliament into just a department of government and treat our MPs – returned by us to Parliament to exercise the thunderous powers and sovereignty of that body – as mere hirelings, irrelevant juniors.

The two are correct and Parliamentarians must learn to grow a spine, learn to exercise some real personal responsibility that reflects the national mood and interest, and resist strongly the moves to make them mere rubber stampers of government or executive which itself is beholden to the EU. This Bill, if passed, MUST be repealed by the Conservatives and replaced with something far more meaningful and patently transparent if trust in MPs is to restored.

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Written by curly

June 26, 2009 at 12:56 pm

One Response

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  1. […] it weren’t bad enough saying that the new Bill would emaciate the power of the Commons, Malcolm Jack, the senior official who oversees the rules of the House of Commons, has raised […]

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