MPs in the UK Parliament can now host Christmas parties at taxpayers’ expense. The new rules issued by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) state that MPs can “claim the cost of food and refreshments for an office festive event,” according to Daily Mail who first reported on the new rule.
IPSA however clarifies that no alcohol is covered under this new parliamentary expense, and that the Christmas party must represent “value for money.” The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority also approves spending on “festive decorations” for MPs’ office and Christmas cards to constituents.
Will this new benefit improve the faith in UK politics?
“As employers, it is entirely appropriate that MPs should, if they see fit, reward their staff with a modest gathering at Christmas. We are clear that alcohol is not included, that any event must represent value for money, is subject to publication for transparency and must not be party political in nature. It must be funded within existing budgets,” said IPSA in a statement.
“Just want to say no one asked for this, no one I know will use it. The guidance wasn’t made by MPs and yet we will be pilloried for it. I think it’s really irresponsible to issue this guidance as if MPs have been clamouring for it when I’ve literally never heard anyone do that.” said MP Jess Phillips.
While IPSA deems that there is nothing inappropriate with this new rule, partying at the taxpayers’ expense is getting enormous backlash from the public. It’s now up to MPs to decide if they see fit to host parties at taxpayers’ expense this Christmas. The MPs The Pavlovic Today has talked to this morning in Westminster said they are hesitant to use the funds.
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