“Claims which are the subject of any doubts will be refused..”

Some local party leaders have already agreed to emergency changes to the MPs allowances, although the House is still debating the issue. Those proposals will directly affect two local MPs in particular. And, with a cap of £1,250-a-month cap on rent and mortgage interest payments, they will affect some others as well. From the BBC report

MPs who are couples will be obliged to nominate the same main home and will only be able to claim one person’s accommodation allowance between them
All claims will be published quarterly online
Members will have to be “completely open” with the tax authorities about whether properties are second homes and liable to capital gains tax
With regards to accommodation, only rent, hotel bills, overnight subsistence, mortgage interest, council tax, utility charges and insurance will be allowed

No secret security measures, then?Additionally

Mortgage claims must be accurate, for interest only and on continuing loans
A clear test of “reasonableness” will be applied to all claims by the Department of Resources in an effort to “tighten up” allowances
Claims which are the subject of any doubts will be refused with no opportunity of appeal

And from the soon-to-be-ex-Speaker’s statement [new link]

While the Kelly committee recommendations are awaited, there will be no specific changes to other allowances. The Department of Resources is instructed to tighten up the administration of all claims and apply a clear test of “reasonableness”. If there is any doubt about the eligibility of a claim, it will be refused and there will be no appeal.

In future, all authorised payments will be published online at transaction level on a quarterly basis by the Department of Resources.

All past claims under the former additional costs allowance over the past four years will be examined. This will be carried out by a team with external management; the external manager will be appointed after consultation with the comptroller and auditor general. [added emphasis]

All necessary resources will be made available. The team will look at claims in relation to the rules which existed at the time, and will take account of any issues which arise from that examination which calls into question the original judgment.


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