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.