LABOUR frontbencher Paul Flynn has called for MPs to be given an allowance instead of expenses to ensure the system isn’t abused.
The shadow Commons leader described the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), set up in 2009 in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal, as an “expensive flop” and a “bureaucratic ornament” in a blog on Tuesday night.
He said Ipsa was the “wrong solution” to the scandal.
“The previous lax rules of the fees office invited abuse and were rightly abolished,” he said.
“The most efficient best-value alternative would have been to replace expenses at reduced total cost with an automatic allowance.”
Mr Flynn argued that Ipsa had failed to restore public confidence in MPs and criticised the current expenses system, which “robs MPs and our staff of much of their most precious possession — time.”
He said: “MPs would embrace a new system without claims or the expensive Ipsa.
“It could be based on an allowance calculated on average expenses based on distance from Westminster and paid automatically.”
Mr Flynn said such a system would be “acceptable” even if it meant MPs were worse off because they would be liberated from the “tentacles of tedious bureaucracy.”
A Labour Party spokeswoman said: “This is not Labour Party policy. The public rightly demands the trust of their politicians and Labour therefore remains committed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which Labour established to ensure MPs do not set their own pay and conditions.”