Citation Little G & Stopforth D (2013) The Legislative Origins of the MPs' Expenses Scandal. Modern Law Review, 76 (1), pp. 83-108. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12003
Abstract The MPs' expenses scandal of 2009 was one of the most controversial Parliamentary events of modern times. It had a profound impact on public perceptions of MPs and led to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. Little academic consideration has, however, been given to the legislative origins of the scandal and the role of ministers and MPs in the creation of the system for MPs' expenses under the Finance Act 1984. Using official documents obtained by Freedom of Information requests, we construct a comprehensive historical analysis of how without one word of debate in Parliament and only minimal media coverage ministers and MPs created a special statutory scheme for their own benefit, which they had effective control of and which exempted their expenses claims from the rules applying to other UK taxpayers and the jurisdiction of the Inland Revenue.