The Home Sectretary, Jacqui Smith, is having a rough time facing an investigation over her expenses claims. She is not the first Politician to face such scrutiny. She will not be the last.
Meanwhile, I produce the data for 2008 relating to the expense claims of Northern Ireland MPs. The data makes interesting reading.
A = Cost of staying at main home. B = office running costs. C= Staffing costs. D = Centralling purchased stationary E= Stationary associated purchase. G= Staff cover & other associated costs. H = Commons Allowance
Sinn Fein’s accommodation allowances are a round figure. Iris and Peter Robinson have similar housing costs to the rest yet one wonders why they could not share accommodation. The MP with the most expenses was SDLP’s Alasdair McDonnell with £146,895 whilst the MP that incurred the least was Gregory Campbell with £111,594. It makes no sense that there is such a wide variation between the expense claims. Lady Sylvia Hermon, whom you would imagine would be the most expensive as she spends more time at Westminster, not being an MLA, is the fourth least expensive.
The figures are very similar to the expense of MPs who sit in English constituencies, yet we know that all Northern Ireland MPs, with the exception of Lady Sylvia Hermon, are also MLAs.
Quite frankly, £2.4 million in expenses (salaries are separate) for 18 MPs are not acceptable until they are justified. I challenge every Northern Ireland MP to come forward and explain their expenses on this blog.
Filed under: MP's Expenses, Northern ireland, Northern Ireland politics, Westminster | Tagged: Conservative Party, Labour Party, MP's Expenses, MPs, Northern ireland, Northern Ireland politics, Westminster | 9 Comments »