MPs’ expenses details published on Parliament website

June 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

More than one million documents relating to the expenses claims of all 646 MPs have been published on Parliament’s website.

The release of information comes after a five-year campaign by freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke.

She recently won a High Court case against the House of Commons for the full disclosure of MPs’ second homes allowances.

Today’s publication was overshadowed by weeks of stories in The Daily Telegraph about MPs’ expenses, which has led to more than 20 of them to announce they will be standing down at the next election. ~

Some have faced disciplinary proceedings by their own party.

Details of MPs’ Additional Costs Allowance (ACA), also known as the second homes allowance, the Incidental Expenses Provision (IEP) and Communications Allowance claims have been published, though some details, such as addresses, have been withheld.

The receipts and documents date back to 2004/05 and up to 2007/08.

MPs receive a basic salary of £64,766-a-year.

Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, and the chairs of committees are paid more to reflect their additional duties.

All MPs can claim up to £24,000-a-year in ACA to cover the running of their second home, £22,193-a-year in IEP, for the running costs of an office, and £10,400-a-year in Communications Allowance to pay for postage, websites and stationery.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has defended the decision to withold some information.

“The argument for keeping bank details, phone numbers and addresses confidential I think is a fair one,” he told the BBC.

Under the old system, MPs submitted receipts where required to the Fees Office.

Last month the government announced that the Commons will be asked to approve a new Parliamentary Standards Authority (PSA).

It will revise and update the codes of practice for MPs, investigate complaints and implement the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life on allowances.

Click here to access the expenses documents.


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