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Expenses-A Third Job for MP’s ?

British MPs expenses bill up by £5 million

Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:35AM GMT

Official figures show that the total expenses bill for British lawmakers rose by £5 million pounds last year.

Figures released by expenses watchdog the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) revealed that the expenses rose from £98 million to £103 million last year, about one million higher than the 2009 peak, which had already turned into a major scandal.

Ipsa said more than £80 million in taxpayers’ money was spent on staff during 2013-14, with 170 of the MPs employing their relatives for positions like secretaries, researchers or caseworkers.

British lawmakers also claimed £11 million for accommodation, travel and subsistence and almost £11 million for office costs, the parliamentary watchdog said.

Andy Silvester, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for his failure in reducing the costs of politics, saying “taxpayers will be deeply concerned that the cost of Westminster is going up again.”

The new data comes days after the Ipsa proposed a pay rise of around 10 percent for British MPs. The announcement of the rise to £74,000 last year provoked public anger, with leaders of Britain’s main political parties describing the increase as “wholly inappropriate” and “incomprehensible” at a time of national austerity.

Ipsa was given full statutory control of MPs’ pay and pensions in the wake of the expense scandal in 2009, when it emerged that British lawmakers and politicians had been pocketing hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ money.

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