5% is value for money, apparently, but only for some.
MPs totted up £87.6m in expenses in the last financial year – a “like for like” rise of about 5% on the previous year, according to House of Commons figures.
The figures average out at about £135,600 an MP, on top of their basic salary of £60,277 and pension. Nice work if you can get it.
Labour minister Shahid Malik claimed the most at £185,421.
Tory MP Philip Hollobone claimed the least £44,551.
Nick Harvey MP, who is on the members’ estimate committee, said taxpayers got “excellent value for money”. Well done Nick.
The previous year’s total came to £86.8m, but was inflated by the general election as “winding up” payments were made to departing MPs. On a like-for-like basis, the increase amounts to about 5%.
The highest-spender, Mr Malik – who represents a constituency in West Yorkshire – spent more than £21,000 on postage alone. Exactly how many stamps is that ?
Fellow minister Liam Byrne was the next highest spender at £178,116
In February 2007 Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, Norman Baker learned that more than £17,000 was spent trying to stop him finding out what other Members of Parliament claimed for travel expenses.
He had asked for the figure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). He discovered the money was spent on two appeals to try to prevent him from getting the information. The details of claims made by MPs were published in February 2007 after his two-year battle with Commons authorities. £17,000 of tax payer’s money well spent there then.
You only have to go back to December 2006 to see that MPs had been criticised after reports some were calling for a 66% pay rise, this would take their salaries to £100,000 a year.
MPs were reported to have written to the Senior Salaries Review Board saying the rise is needed to bring them into line with senior civil servants and GPs.
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