MPs tell Ipsa they want to spend more on their official credit cards


MPs and their staff have urged the expenses watchdog to let them spend more on their official credit cards.

More than half - 51% - quizzed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) wanted looser rules on use of direct payment and charge cards.

Some of the 84 who responded wanted to pay for refreshments using the Ipsa cards, an expense which is no longer allowable under the rules.

Others wanted to link up PayPal accounts or use the cards to tap in and out on the Tube system.

The calls were made in responses to a 2015 survey of politicians and their staff by the watchdog.

It found that 34% chose not to submit a claim because they were "concerned about the claim being published".

Of the MPs who responded, 46% rated Ipsa's service as very good or good, up from 36% the previous year.

But the proportion who were unhappy also went up, with 32% rating Ipsa as poor or very poor compared 21% in 2014.

One person responding on behalf of an MP, said: "I think the system is very poor and would benefit from an overhaul."

Overall, Ipsa received 312 responses, of which 44 were MPs, 113 were MP proxies - nominated to act on behalf of an MP - and 155 members of staff.

The report states: "There are some clear signs that MPs, their proxies, and their staff think that there have been many improvements in the support and services that we offer, but, of course, there remains more for us to do."