“the circumstances applying in Northern Ireland..”

The UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced proposals to overhaul MPs’ expenses – to be voted on asap. And the announcement was made not in the House of Commons, but in an online video clip. The main proposal might have some interesting ramifications for some of our local politicians..

A. Flat-rate Allowance. We propose that, for MPs representing constituencies outside London, the Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure (commonly known as the ‘second home’ allowance) should be abolished and be replaced by a flat-rate daily allowance, based on actual attendance at Westminster on parliamentary and government business or the business of the Opposition frontbenches. This will be limited to the Parliamentary session or a maximum number of days.

DON’T PANIC!

There is a possible caveat..

H. We will ask the Committee on Standards in Public Life to look at the circumstances applying in Northern Ireland before final application of the flat rate allowance for MPs representing Northern Ireland.

Adds Brian notes a second ‘bombshell’.

Update From the BBC report

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson added: “I hope that the Committee on Standards in Public Life will agree with the then Speaker Boothroyd who said that the House of Commons should not permit ‘associate membership’.

“All elected MPs should attend under the same conditions.”

Indeed.