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Privatise expenses watchdog, says Harriet Baldwin MP
12:00pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
TENBURY MP Harriett Baldwin wants the policing of the expenses of members of parliament privatised.
She believes that the organisation that was set up to get MPs to clean up their act after the expenses scandal should be swept away.
Despite the changes and tightening up of the rules figures published recently still shows MPs claiming millions of pounds and in some cases paying members of their own families tens of thousands of pounds a year.
Harriett Baldwin, the MP for West Worcestershire that includes Tenbury, has called for a reduction of costs to run MPs expenses and for the re-organisation of the body set up to monitor them.
The MP has written to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority asking the board to consider outsourcing its outstanding activities to the private sector.
It was created in 2009 to independently verify MPs expenses and office running costs and to manage the staff payroll. By 2015 the body operating costs of IPSA will have topped £30m to oversee the running costs for 650 MPs and staff.
Harriett Baldwin has written to the consultation process and rejected the proposals for a pay rise and asked the board to consider outsourcing.
As a former pension fund manager, she has also suggested alternative pension and benefits arrangement for 2015 and beyond.
“I have always been a supporter of any proposals which reduce the total costs of government,” she said.
“Now that all MPs’ expenditure is totally transparent, I would expect that the whole system can be easily and cheaply out-sourced saving millions of pounds.
“I think IPSA has performed a valuable function but now the system is up and running I feel it is time for a rethink on how the body operates in the future.”
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