As the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009 has begun to slip from the public’s consciousness, a new survey has confirmed that MP’s expenses and bills are now £5 million higher than in 2009.
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The total claims made by Members of Parliament (MP’s) came to £103 million last year, compared to £98m paid out in 2009. Over a quarter of MP’s are also hiring family members, with four pounds in every five spent on staff salaries.
The figures show that 168 MPs employed either business associates or family members on their staff, up from 155 in the previous year.
Other expenses include the renting of a constituency office, which accounted for 11% of the total outlay, while travel and accommodation between the MPs home office and London accounted for 7% and 4% respectively.
Nevertheless, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), who conducted the analysis, claims that regulations brought in after the scandal, which led to the exposure of expense abuses by MP’s, has saved the tax payer £58 million.
“Constituents can see exactly what their MP spent in carrying out their parliamentary duties,” said IPSA chair Sir Ian Kennedy.
“The information we’re publishing shows that about 90% of the costs go on staffing and running an office,” he added.
“That is unsurprising given that MPs operate the equivalent of 650 small businesses through which they work for their constituents and in Parliament.”
Photo source: Gordon Bell via Flickr