Sir Bob of Sunny Colch has been asking about MPs’ expenses in the Commons once again.
DISCLAIMER: it’s all above board, blah, blah, blah, nothing to see here.
Glad we got that one out of the way.
It was a rather curious question though put forward by Sir Bob last Thursday:
“On what criteria additional staff allowances other than for staff sickness or maternity leave are given to hon. Members.”
So Sir Bob was basically asking if anyone working for him is able to claim any extra allowances.
And NOT MP’s allowances, disclaimer, blah blah blah etc.
The reply came from Conservative Charles Walker:
“As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking about the criteria for additional staffing expenditure budget.
The MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses sets out the criteria for contingency funding in Chapter 10. We consider applications for additional funding for staffing or non-staffing costs on a case-by-case basis and take into account the following criteria:
Whether there are exceptional circumstances warranting additional support; whether the MP could reasonably have been expected to take any action to avoid the circumstances which gave rise to the expenditure or liability; and whether the MP’s performance of his or her parliamentary functions would be significantly impaired by a refusal of the claim.”
Ask a silly question, etc.
We’re still slightly unsure as to why Sir Bob put forward the question. Clarification in the comments below would be most welcome.
Sir Bob repaid £4,500 back in 2010 after receiving an overpayment on the mortgage on his second home for £4,029, plus a £510 Council Tax overpayment.
In 2012 it was found that Sir Bob acted in ‘good faith’ after making the mistake of claiming over £70,000 over seven years for an office owned by a company in which he was a major shareholder.