British MPs have rejected proposals by a parliament’s watchdog to curb their expenses.
The Commons Standards Committee and Privileges Committee criticized the financial watchdog’s attempts to tighten up food, hotels and taxi claims by the MPs, saying the costs will be curbed in an unreasonable way.
The committee described the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s (IPSA) suggestion as surprising and insisted that other professionals would be able to claim such expenses in compensation for unsociable hours.
“We do not consider that IPSA has made a case for changing the boundary of the existing scheme of business costs and expenses,” the committee concluded.
Earlier in September, the bill for British MPs’ expenses increased to a record high, exceeding the level before the 2009 expense scandal, in which some MPs made claims for trivial items at the expense of the taxpayer.
According to IPSA figures, British lawmakers’ taxpayer-funded expenses soared by £7 million last year to a record total of nearly £100 million.
MPs spent £74.3 million on staffing and £23.8 million on personal expenses, including taxis, meals, and renting second homes, the watchdog said in an annual report.
The huge sum comes at a time when ordinary Britons are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the stinging austerity measures imposed by the government.
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