IPSA criticised over office furniture bill


According to a leading property website, the watchdog responsible for monitoring the expenses of Member of Parliament has faced criticism after spending £300,000 on furnishing its London office space.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) spent a fortune on office furniture including £339 on a single red chair, 25 cabinets costing £2,295 each and 14 loungers priced each priced at £465. A further £538 was spent on seven more chairs and £837 on a table.

The figures were revealed as part of a Freedom of Information request as well as the expenses of a number of MP’s who have had to curb their expenses to comply with IPSA’s stringent rules.

Conservative MP for Witham, Priti Patel, said: “I think in this age of austerity, IPSA has to realise that this is hard-pressed taxpayers’ money it is spending. You have to question whether they are applying the ‘value for money’ test that we, local authorities and all public bodies must meet. They have to furnish an office but if they have bought some items some may consider luxurious then they really should have bought items that were more modest.”

The spending made by IPSA will be reviewed by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee by the end of 2011.

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