High-level analysis of MP expenses

The Guardian made the data available for the expense totals, broken down by type, of each of the 645 MPs for the last year.  Below is my summary.

Expenses for the year totalled £92,993,748, an average of £144,176.35 per MP.  Eric Joyce, MP for Falkirk, topped the list with a claim of £187,334.  Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, claimed the least: £47,737.

Sixty percent of the total claimed was for staffing costs, 12% for office running costs, 12% for the cost of staying away from the main home.  Then we have comms. allowance (5%), rail travel (2%), stationery-associated postage costs (2%) and mileage (2%) followed by a bunch of other expenses each making up lesser percentages.

Andrew Robathan, MP for Blaby in Leicestershire had the highest allowance for living away from the main home, at £23,083.  Margaret Beckett topped the list for staffing costs, at £107,458 compared to an average of £85,872.  59 MPs (9%) did not make any claims for living away from home.

Sarah Kennedy, wife of Charles, was the spouse that benefited most from the spouse’s travel allowance, accounting for £6,046 across 30 journeys.  Donald Kennedy, their four-year-old son, seems to have been the biggest beneficiary of the family travel allowance: £5,250, also over 30 journeys.

Owen Paterson, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was the biggest petrol-head, claiming £1,764 in mileage.  Angus MacNeil was the biggest flyer, claiming £28,137 on air fares.  In all, the taxpayer picked up the bill for 6,181 journeys made by family members of MPs, a bill of £461,067.


3 Responses to “High-level analysis of MP expenses”

  1. Doug Chandler on May 14th, 2009 14:50

    This whole subject is an absolute outrage, why do MPs have such a free hand in claiming expenses? Why don’t they follow the same rules as everyone else?

  2. Steve on May 15th, 2009 10:58

    Did you notice in the latest revelations about Mackay and Kirkbride yesterday, not only was Mackay claiming second home allowance on the residence which his wife had designated her first home (and Mackay has no residence in his Bracknell constituency so one wonders how it can be his second home). Both also claimed spouse’s travel allowances (in addition to their own members travel allowances). Oh and good old Elliot Morely conveniently forgot to stop claiming for a mortgage which had been paid off, blaming “sloppy accounting”. I’d sack your accountant Elliot!

    Lord Foulkes berated BBC presenter Carrie Gracie for her own £92K salary claiming that it was nearly twice as much as an MP gets paid for “much more important work” and went on to suggest that confrontational journalists like Jeremy Paxman were “undermining democracy”.

    Meanwhile disgraced MPs blame the ambiguity of the expenses system for their woes. A system which they largely regulate themselves.

    The thing that is undermining democracy in this whole sorry affair is the fact that we seem to have entrusted the running of the country to a bunch of people who are either so immoral or dim-witted that frankly I have to question whether they can be trusted to dress themselves.

  3. Dan on May 18th, 2009 22:18

    Thanks, Steve.

    And the saga continues with the calls for Michael Martin’s resignation today.

    Foulkes was floundering, bringing up irrelevant arguments in an attempt to deflect attention from his own doing. Didn’t work too well…

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