Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Making sense of Kelly

After a lot of leaks, the independent report into the rules for MP expenses by Sir Christopher Kelly has finally been published. The BBC write-up is here, together with a link to the full report.

Before the report was published I said that I thought the report should be implemented in full and I stand by that position. After all that has gone on, I really don't think that MPs can now be seen to be quibbling about this report. One of the more positive suggestions is that there should be some central provision of rented accommodation. This makes a lot of sense, and to be honest if there had been somewhere available to rent as soon as I was elected in 1997 I would have immediately opted for that. I've already said that when my current one-bed flat is sold the full gain (after capital gains tax) will go back to the taxpayer, so (if re-elected!) I will sell up by the end of the next Parliament and switch to rented accommodation.

What happens next is that a new body - the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority - will be asked to receive this report and comments on it and propose final arrangements to come into force after the Election. I hope that this process is not too drawn out and that we can get on with concentrating on the real work we are paid to do.