MPs set to debate their expenses again

MPs will be debating their expenses again next week. The Conservative backbencher Adam Afriyie, who has been chairing a special select committee to look at the operations of IPSA, their much-loathed expenses watchdog, has secured a debate in the Commons chamber on the 15th and the motion will be based on his committee's findings. We don't know what those are, yet, but their report has been agreed and should appear soon.

At today's meeting of the Backbench Business Committee, which scheduled the debate which resulted in Mr Afriyie's committee being set up, he managed to avoid even the most tantalising hint of what his report contained - but seemed quite sure that there would be little controversy, and that the whole thing could be done and dusted in an hour or so. Make of that what you will. It does imply that the government will be content with whatever he plans to propose, which in turn suggests that he will not be arguing for a radical reshaping of IPSA. We shall see.

Also next Thursday, the Backbench Committee has scheduled a debate in the chamber on financial education, following the report of an all-party group, and a debate in Westminster Hall on Remploy - following a petition to Downing Street and representations from MPs worried about the future of their local factories providing employment for disabled people.

Meanwhile the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has renewed its bid for a debate on the operations of Pub Companies early in the new year - after a vigorous session with BIS minister Ed Davey this morning. The Backbench Committee does not yet have a debating day to allocate next year, but they gave a sympathetic hearing to BIS Committee Chair Adrian Bailey, and when they do, this subject looks highly likely to be aired.

UPDATE: the report is due to be published next Monday.

Around the BBC