Institutes defer judgment on MPs’ expenses

Hounded by the media, investigated by the taxman, chased by Scotland Yard and
now scrutinised by parliament, you might think our embattled MPs couldn’t catch
a break. Wrong.

The ICAEW and CIMA have indicated they will not be taking immediate
disciplinary action against any of their members who are MPs caught up in the
expenses scandal. They will instead take a wait and see approach.

The ICAEW has seven MPs as members. This includes Conservative David
Heathcoat-Amory who reportedly claimed for the equivalent of 500 sacks of horse
manure, £6 for the use of a chainsaw, £2 for mouse poison, £1.95 for sunflower
seeds and £5 for a wheelbarrow puncture at his country home near Glastonbury in

Fellow Conservative MP Mark Hoban claimed £35 on a toilet roll holder, £100
for a chrome shower rack and £79 for four silk cushion covers on his second home

According to its bylaws, an ICAEW member is open to disciplinary action if he
“brings discredit on himself, the institute or the profession of accountancy”.

An ICAEW spokeswoman said the allegations were a matter for the Commons
Authority. She added: “However our disclosure bylaws prevent us from commenting
on whether any matter may or may not be the subject to consideration by our
professional conduct department.”

CIMA has two member MPs, including Michael Foster, who was reportedly asked
to pay back £860. A spokeswoman said if a member did anything wrong the body
would “obviously” look into it. “However it is not clear if this MP has done
anything wrong,” she said.

“Several MPs are being asked to pay back money, many as a result of following
incorrect advice from the fees office… if it has any evidence of improper
behaviour in relation to the laws of the institute then we will act

Further reading:

On the money with Gavin

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