MPs' allowances — External audits and no more furniture — rejected — 3 Jul 2008 at 17:17

The majority of MPs voted against accepting recommendations 1-4, 6, 7 and 13[1] of the following recommendations made by the Members Estimate Committee.[2] See below for details of these recommendations.

They did this by replacing the motion which read:[3]

  • This House
  • welcomes the Third Report from the Members Estimate Committee: Review of Members Allowances (House of Commons Paper 578);
  • endorses in particular the recognition of the need for a robust system of scrutiny for parliamentary allowances and the accompanying emphasis in the Report on improved audit;
  • and is of the opinion that
  • Recommendations 1-5 (audit and assurance),
  • Recommendations 6 and 7 (scope of overnight expenses),
  • Recommendations 9 and 10 (Communications Allowance),
  • Recommendations 11 and 12 (travel),
  • Recommendations 13 and 14 (overnight expenses),
  • Recommendation 15 (resettlement), and
  • Recommendations 16-18 (other SSRB recommendations)
  • should be implemented, subject to decisions of the Members Estimate Committee with respect to their introduction and application;

with an alternative motion, which read:[4]

  • This House
  • welcomes the report from the Members Estimate Committee;
  • recognises the need to strengthen the system of scrutiny and is of the opinion that a rigorous internal system of audit of the Additional Costs Allowance be introduced covering 25 per cent. of hon. Members each year, and every hon. Member each Parliament;
  • and is of the opinion that Recommendations 5 (staff contracts), 8 (constituency offices), 9 and 10 (communications allowance), 11 and 12 (travel), 14 (overnight expenses), 15 (resettlement), and 16, 17 and 18 (other SSRB recommendations) be approved

The rejected recommendations are as follows:

Recommendation 1 was for a "robust new system of practice assurance involving regular financial health checks on records kept and processes used in Members' offices with outside professional teams covering about 25% of Members each year". This was substituted by a "rigorous internal system of audit".

Recommendation 2 would have extended "the scope of the audit engagement so that it is the same as for other public bodies."

Recommendation 3 would have reduced the receipt threshold from £25 to zero so that all claims, however small, would have had to be backed by receipts.

Recommendation 4 was for the Green Book (setting out the rules on allowances for Members) to be revised to specify more detailed rules.

Recommendation 6 was for MPs to no longer be able to claim reimbursement for furniture and household goods or for capital improvements.

Recommendation 7 was that MPs representing constituencies in outer London should be eligible to claim half of any overnight expenses allowance.

Recommendation 13 was for the Additional Costs Allowance to comprise of a £19,600 maximum budget for accommodation (excluding furniture, household goods and capital improvements) but operating on the basis of itemised reimbursement and a flat rate of £30 for daily subsistence.

Debate in Parliament | Source |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con21 54 (+1 tell)039.6%
Independent2 0040.0%
Lab146 (+2 tell) 50257.1%
LDem0 35 (+1 tell)057.1%
SNP0 2033.3%
UKIP0 01100.0%
Total:169 141351.4%

Rebel Voters - sorted by constituency

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Anne BeggAberdeen SouthLab (minister)no
Gerald HowarthAldershotCon (front bench)aye
Judy MallaberAmber ValleyLab (minister)no
Margaret HodgeBarkingLab (minister)no
John MannBassetlawLab (minister)no
Martin LintonBatterseaLab (minister)no
Patrick HallBedfordLab (minister)no
Liam ByrneBirmingham, Hodge HillLab (minister)no
Helen GoodmanBishop AucklandLab (minister)no
Jack StrawBlackburnLab (minister)no
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)no
John ButterfillBournemouth WestCon (front bench)aye
Andrew MacKayBracknellCon (front bench)aye
Julie KirkbrideBromsgroveCon (front bench)aye
Nick PalmerBroxtoweLab (minister)no
Harriet HarmanCamberwell and PeckhamLab (minister)no
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLab (minister)no
Kevin BrennanCardiff WestLab (minister)no
Eric MartlewCarlisleLab (minister)no
Christopher ChopeChristchurchCon (front bench)aye
Hugh BayleyCity of YorkLab (minister)no
Ann WintertonCongletonCon (front bench)aye
Geoffrey RobinsonCoventry North WestLabno
Laura MoffattCrawleyLab (minister)no
Malcolm WicksCroydon NorthLab (minister)no
Stephen PoundEaling NorthLab (minister)no
Hugo SwireEast DevonCon (front bench)aye
Stephen TimmsEast HamLab (minister)no
Jim MurphyEast RenfrewshireLab (minister)no
Mark LazarowiczEdinburgh North and LeithLab (minister)no
Clive EffordElthamLab (minister)no
Eleanor LaingEpping ForestCon (front bench)aye
Ben BradshawExeterLab (minister)no
Chris MoleIpswichLab (minister)no
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabno
Des BrowneKilmarnock and LoudounLab (minister)no
Roger BerryKingswoodLab (minister)no
Peter SoulsbyLeicester SouthLab (minister)both
Joan RuddockLewisham, DeptfordLab (minister)no
Peter TapsellLouth and HorncastleCon (front bench)aye
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLab (minister)no
Nicholas WintertonMacclesfieldCon (front bench)aye
Ann WiddecombeMaidstone and The WealdConaye
Stuart BellMiddlesbroughLab (minister)no
Edward BallsNormantonLab (minister)no
Katy ClarkNorth Ayrshire and ArranLab (minister)no
James ArbuthnotNorth East HampshireCon (front bench)aye
Bernard JenkinNorth EssexCon (front bench)aye
Michael WillsNorth SwindonLab (minister)no
Henry BellinghamNorth West NorfolkCon (front bench)aye
Sally KeebleNorthampton NorthLab (minister)no
Brian BinleyNorthampton SouthCon (front bench)aye
Yvette CooperPontefract and CastlefordLab (minister)no
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and Canning TownLab (minister)no
Vera BairdRedcarLab (minister)no
Chris BryantRhonddaLab (minister)no
Andrew RosindellRomfordCon (front bench)aye
John GreenwayRyedaleConaye
John GroganSelbyLab (minister)no
Fiona MactaggartSloughLab (minister)no
John DenhamSouthampton, ItchenLab (minister)no
David AmessSouthend WestCon (front bench)aye
David WilshireSpelthorneCon (front bench)aye
James PurnellStalybridge and HydeLab (minister)no
Barbara FollettStevenageLab (minister)both
Chris MullinSunderland SouthLab (minister)no
Angela WatkinsonUpminsterCon (front bench)aye
Anne McIntoshVale of YorkCon (front bench)aye
Mary CreaghWakefieldLab (minister)no
David WinnickWalsall NorthLab (minister)no
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLab (minister)no
John HealeyWentworthLab (minister)no
Paul GogginsWythenshawe and Sale EastLab (minister)no

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