It is a case of one step forward, one step back. The latest figures from Ipsa, the parliamentary expenses watchdog, show that it paid out roughly £3.2 million in November and December, some £400,000 less than the year before. Yet we have also learnt that more than £10 million in “golden goodbyes” was paid to 220 departing MPs after the election. Individual totals were hard to determine – but an average grant of more than £45,000.
Part of the problem is that the system is still not as simple or transparent as it could be: witness Ipsa’s refusal to publish individual receipts.
But the fact that John Bercow has wangled a substantial increase in his own office budget, even as the rest of the Commons faces cutbacks, suggests that he has failed to grasp the spirit of the times.
Putting the House in order should be the responsibility of the Speaker.
My comment: Change his job title from Mr Speaker to Mr fill your boots.
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