Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Who watches the watchmen

Even those responsible for monitoring sleaze cannot be trusted it seems – as reported in the Express dated 16th March 2011.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) who are tasked with monitoring the expenses of MPs has just spent £300,000 of taxpayers money on furnishing its office.  IPSA has spent an estimated £4,300 per member of staff with purchases including: seven chairs at £538 each (the cost of an entire lounge suite for the average person); 71 visitors’ seats costing £242 each; six stools costing £365 each (they must be gold plated) and 14 relaxer loungers costing £465 each.  There were also 25 cabinets costing £2,295 apiece and an £837 table.

IPSA claims that they followed “the proper procedures” in equipping their shell of an office and spout the usual percentages rhetoric in trying to justify such horrendous expenditure claiming that they only spent 22 per cent of their “projected accommodation costs” which is “better than the industry standard of 25 to 35 per cent”.  Does this really matter when the costs involved are outrageous by any normal standards of decency?  Excuse me but is this EXACTLY what MPs said – “but I’ve followed proper procedures” when claiming for second homes fraudulently or bathplugs and Kit-Kats?  The same tune from a new voice!

Thousands of disabled people are being demonised for the extra support they need; the government sponsored foreign organisation ATOS is carrying out assessments the decisions of which 9 times out of 10 are being overturned on appeal; vulnerable people are being penalised and forced to consider suicide as a means of release from the torture they undergo yet the watchers themselves are now in need of watching as they waste money that could be used to help a great many people.

IPSAs budget for its first year was £6.6million for an organisation that is supposed to look closely at the spending of MPs – it doesn’t bode well!

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