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Changes a-comin' for members of Parliament

March 29, 2010 at 2:36 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, March 29 (UPI) -- British members of Parliament face a 30 percent cut in expenses announced by a new watchdog agency, but each still would be allowed to employ a family member.

Ian Kennedy, who leads the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, announced a plan to trim the allowance for annual expenses, along with several other changes expected to take effect in the next session of Parliament, The Times of London reported Monday.

Kennedy said he would continue the practice of allowing one family member to be employed per MP, despite being told by a majority of people he consulted that the tradition was wrong, The Times said.

The authority reviewed expenses and other issues after a scandal involving reimbursements broke and the discovery that one lawmaker paid his son without evidence the son actually worked, The Times said.

Among other things, Kennedy said, a nearly $89,000 resettlement grant wouldn't be paid in the future because it's part of the salary package, not expenses.

"No longer will MPs benefit from a slack allowances system. This system brings MPs' expenses into line with those in most other areas of life," Kennedy said. "Expenses will be reimbursed only for legitimate costs, backed up by receipts."

"There will be complete transparency, so that members of the public will see, in detail, expenses claimed by MPs," he said. "The rules will be backed up with tough new measures and abuse of the system will not be tolerated."

Topics: Ian Kennedy
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