Tighten up MPs’ expenses rules

Olavs silis / Craig McAteer / Alamy Stock Photo. Composite image of Westminster by openDemocracyTo: The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

We the undersigned are concerned that MPs have used £1.1m of taxpayers’ money to outsource media and communications work to private firms in the past three years.

MPs have a budget to employ their own official advisers, which starts at £222,000 a year. Parliamentary rules state that expenses can only be used for "parliamentary functions" and taxpayer money must not be used to help MPs win elections. However, openDemocracy has found that expenses claims are not being checked thoroughly and that there is a lack of clarity about what is permitted. That leaves open the possibility that expenses could be improperly used to help promote sitting MPs in the next election.

Therefore, we call on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to tighten up its rules to prevent MPs from claiming expenses for media and communications services which might help win elections.
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