MP Expenses: Cautious welcome for Kelly reforms

October 28, 2009 10:05 AM

Greg Stone, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East, has given a guarded welcome to the emerging proposals from the Kelly report into parliamentary expenses, following public outrage at various scandals over the summer.

Greg said "Clearly the full picture of Kelly's findings has not yet emerged, but the proposal to end MPs being able to claim for second home mortgage interest payments is sensible. I also believe that MPs should be prevented from "flipping" and should only be allowed to claim for rent on a London property rather than "second homes" in the constituency or elsewhere in the country. MPs within the M25 should not need a "second home".

I have pledged not to claim for mortgages or for any expenditure relating to my Newcastle home if elected, and would only claim essential expenditure for rent and utilities for a London residence; I also do not intend to employ family members. In addition I believe it is of paramount importance for all expenses to be moderate, justified, and supported by receipts, and subject to a robust process of transparency and audit."

"I hope MPs will recognise the deep public unhappiness over the regime they have allowed to develop, and will implement these reforms swiftly and without complaint."