Expenses

That Hypocrisy Meter Again…

hypocrisy_meter__a_graphic_for_facebook_and_forums_by_askgriff-d5myy33Don’t you just love Westminster.

BBC had the story in the image below up today.

The MP in question is Damian Collins (that isn’t him in the photo, that’s Chuck Blazer).

You might be interested in this article about Collins in the Independent. It’s about MPs who own homes in London yet still claim rent.

 

MP FraudThose two links in conjunction makes me wonder about the other thing we learned about Westminster today, which is bB1eXGHyIQAAQ03Aasically that they are destroying expenses records to make sure no one can look into them and some other MPs felt fit to comment on it.

I can think of another one who has had some serious questions about his expenses over the years, but given his current position of running for what no one has even tried to make an important post yet, I’m not sure any journalists will bother to bring it up.

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.