Ups And Downs

m_p3A few little thoughts on the recently published expenses stories.

Firstly Westminster…

MPs’ Expenses Bill Soars To Almost £100m

Taxpayers are shelling out more for MPs’ personal costs and running their offices than in the run-up to the 2009 expenses scandal.

Most of the increase was due to larger staffing budgets but MPs’ personal expenses also rose from £23.5m in 2011-12 to £23.8m.

That works out on average as Westminster MPs costing £153,846 a year, not counting wages. The figure is now higher than before the 2009 scandal.

Now Holyrood…

MSPs claimed a total of £12.2 million in expenses in the past 12 months, down £500,000 on the previous year.

That works out on average as £94,573 per MSP.

Furthermore, the article says that 8.9 million was paid in staff costs by MSPs. If we take staff costs out of the figure, the personal expenses claimed would be around £25,581 per MSP whereas MPs on average claimed £36,615.

So on both these counts it appears that Holyrood MSPs cost about a third less than those in Westminster do.


Another interesting point to note about the Westminster expenses was that…

They also show some 155 MPs employed family members over the 12 months.

Outspoken Tory Nadine Dorries’ daughter Philippa was among the highest earners, receiving £40,000-45,000 as office manager.

She is now believed to have left to train as a lawyer, but her sister Jennifer has been taken on as senior secretary with a salary of £30,000-35,000.

If we have to be making cuts, I think I can see a big one in all this somewhere.

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