Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A useful saving

According to Newsnight's Michael Crick Sinn Fein parliamentary allowances and expenses are to get cut.  Although it appears that the cuts will not be total rather partial:

"One possible outcome is that Sinn Fein MPs will still be allowed to claim allowances which enable them to look after their constituents. But it looks likely that they will be deprived of travel allowances for trips between Northern Ireland and London. It is also probable that they will now be barred from receiving Short Money, the state funds given to Opposition parties for research and policy work."

A full cut would save between £3-4m in a full parliamentary term but these level of cuts would place it more in the region of £1-2m.  These moves follow a Westminster Hall debate in June which re-focused attention on the issue in the new parliament.  The SoS had given private indications of no action following the election but it now appears that it is seen as a means to assuage the Tory backbenchers.

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