Magazine article Public Finance

Kelly Report Published as New Standards Chief Announced

Magazine article Public Finance

Kelly Report Published as New Standards Chief Announced

Article excerpt

The controversy over MPs' expenses has been passed to the new independent regulator after the public standards committee published its long-awaited report into the issue.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life, chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly, published its recommendations on November 4.

On the same day, former Healthcare Commission chair Sir Ian Kennedy was announced as head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, the body established to implement and run the new expenses regime.

Although MPs appeared to agree that the report should be implemented in full, there were still some doubts that the best solution had been found.

Colin Talbot, professor of public policy and management at Manchester University, told Public Finance the committee should have been asked to look at MPs' salaries as well.

'We all know a lot of the expenses were there to compensate for the fact MPs are not paid properly. We're going to end up with even more underpaid MPs, which is going to keep some good people out of politics.

'Looking at the expenses issue and ignoring the pay issue seems to be daft.'

Talbot said the Kelly report will probably succeed in easing expenses off the political agenda, but added he was suspicious that the apparent cross-party consensus showed Parliament had been weakened. …

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