'It's an independent, transparent system," MPs welcome publishing expenses

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

THE bill for MPs' expenses soared by a quarter to nearly £90m last year, it has emerged.

Politicians spent the money on accommodation, staff, travel and office costs, as many need a second home to work in Westminster.

Altogether, the 650 MPs received £89.4 million in 2011-12, compared to £71m the previous year.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said 99% of MPs' expenses claims were within the rules and proved the system has been cleaned up since the expenses scandal which saw four MPs sent to jail.

Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans, whose constituency includes Runcorn, claimed £21,051 for accommodation, and £11,271.47 for travel.

His wife, Cheryl, was paid between £20,000 and £24,999 as his senior secretary.

His total expenses, including running his constituency office, and staffing, was £161,546.27.

MP Graham Evans said: “I am very pleased that MPs’ expenses are now regularly being published.

“It ensures transparency and is one of the important first steps to restoring faith in our politics.

“I have not claimed anything which is not necessary for doing my job of standing up for the people of Weaver Vale. I never will.”

Halton MP Derek Twigg claimed £19,401.25 for his flat in London, and £4,003.40 for travel.

His wife, Mary, received a salary of between £25,000 and £29,000 as his executive secretary.

His total expenses were £129,534.76.

MP Derek Twigg said: “We have two work places, one in London and one in our constituency. These expenses cover the costs of both offices, administration and travel. It’s not the MPs who are getting paid this money.

“It is an an independent transparent system.”

Both MPs drew their basic salary of £65,738.

Comments (1)

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7:53pm Wed 12 Sep 12

John L Bell says...

I am a taxpaying citizen voter who has been studying the fraudulent expenses claims of MPs since the Conway Scandal in the last Fraudsters' Parliament!
A number of similar articles declaiming the 'end' to fraudulent claiming in a number of local/regional newspapers across the country!
None of them mention the 26% increase in expenses/allowances 'fiddle money' paid to MPs during the year 2011-12 compared with a baseline of 2010-11!
None of these articles mention the large increase in MPs' available expenses/allowances 'fiddle money' announced (VERY QUIETLY) in the weeks BEFORE the Budget that affected the rest of US!
Thus the increase in 'fiddle money' claimed by MPs for the year 2012-13 will be 30+% more than the amount claimed in the base year 2010-11!
Could anyone tell me who , in these days of 'austerity', and 'belt tightening' and 'all in it together' else has been awarded a 30% increase since 2010-11!
Or is it , perhaps, that anyone with MP at the end of their given name, has a 'get out of austerity' card?

I note also that only one local/regional newspaper has mentioned - in these times of 'transparency ' - that some MPs still have family members placed on the public payroll by abuse of power!

As you can possibly tell, I am NOT yet convinced that MPs, their family members, their old school chummies and their other accomplices can be trusted anywhere near any unguarded tills containing taxpayers' monies!
I am a taxpaying citizen voter who has been studying the fraudulent expenses claims of MPs since the Conway Scandal in the last Fraudsters' Parliament! A number of similar articles declaiming the 'end' to fraudulent claiming in a number of local/regional newspapers across the country! None of them mention the 26% increase in expenses/allowances 'fiddle money' paid to MPs during the year 2011-12 compared with a baseline of 2010-11! None of these articles mention the large increase in MPs' available expenses/allowances 'fiddle money' announced (VERY QUIETLY) in the weeks BEFORE the Budget that affected the rest of US! Thus the increase in 'fiddle money' claimed by MPs for the year 2012-13 will be 30+% more than the amount claimed in the base year 2010-11! Could anyone tell me who , in these days of 'austerity', and 'belt tightening' and 'all in it together' else has been awarded a 30% increase since 2010-11! Or is it , perhaps, that anyone with MP at the end of their given name, has a 'get out of austerity' card? I note also that only one local/regional newspaper has mentioned - in these times of 'transparency ' - that some MPs still have family members placed on the public payroll by abuse of power! As you can possibly tell, I am NOT yet convinced that MPs, their family members, their old school chummies and their other accomplices can be trusted anywhere near any unguarded tills containing taxpayers' monies! John L Bell
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