“The authority and legitimacy of the fees office was much less than seems to have been realised by most MPs at the time. These officials were not civil servants with an independent duty to, and accountability for, the public purse. They were servants of the House and, while of course supposed to observe and apply its rules, they were also in practice expected to do so in the ways most beneficial to the MPs whom they were there to serve. …The fees office was therefore vulnerable to the influence of higher authorities in the House of Commons, from the Speaker down, and of individual MPs. In practice during most of the review period, these influences tended more towards looking after the immediate interests of MPs than to safeguarding propriety in public expenditure.”
– Sir Thomas Legg.
There is a cost free solution to the problems illustrated by Legg. It would benefit both the British taxpayer, and a benighted portion of the British Public.
In future, the fees office should be used exclusively for the return of clients own monies, where those monies are held in trust for them by the Court of Protection. This would ensure that the much maligned carers who toil ceaselessly to keep their charges alive thus ensuring that they continue to pay the Government for looking after their money, are treated with the reverential deference that is their due. They will get the money they request promptly and without exhaustive enquiries as to whether they either ‘need’ it or are ‘entitled’ to it – it is their money after all.
Meanwhile, MPs expenses, should, in future be paid out by the staff of the Court of Protection. This will ensure that they are not treated with anything approaching civility, far less deference. They will be subject to delays of many months, assumed to be greedy, grasping, profiteering monsters, who should be obstructed at every opportunity. Their payment requests will be ‘lost’ on a regular basis, letters will go unanswered for months, and finally their request will be refused without reason. Any appeal against this will have to be financed from their own pocket. It is our money after all.