“a matter of direct and reasonable interest to taxpayers.”

The Belfast Telegraph’s “Open Stormont” campaign – noted here by Mick – continues, but in the meantime journalist David Gordon is looking to the autumn and the expenses claims of the 18 Northern Ireland MPs – in particular the Additional Costs Allowance/ “John Lewis” list.

Breakdowns of claims made by all other MPs — including the 18 from Northern Ireland — will be published in the autumn, the Commons has stated. This will be on a receipt-by-receipt and item-by-item basis and will cover a three-year period. Full disclosure for all MPs is expected to involve around one million individual items. The decision boosts the case for the Northern Ireland Assembly to provide much more detail on MLA allowances. The ACA is one of the Commons expenses available to Sinn Fein MPs, despite the fact that they do not take their seats in Parliament. Sinn Fein’s five MPs claimed some £90,000 between them from the Commons for London living costs in the financial year 2006/07.

, , ,

  • wild turkey

    Pete

    Have you considered making book on highest to lowest rank order of the 18 MPs of total expenses?

    Based on the CLUB 647 – CLASS OF 2006/7 EXPENSES RANKINGS looks like Nigel has post position with Jeffrey close on his tail.

    Will also be interesting to see if the Swift Family Robinson puts ,…ah, our money, where their mouths are when going on about Value for Money.

  • Briso

    There has been controversy over the fact that husband and wife MPs are each entitled to claim the full ACA amount, while sharing the same accommodation

    The DUP’s Peter and Iris Robinson, who jointly own a flat in London’s Docklands area, received a combined total of £39,944 from the Commons in 2006/07.

    In 2006, Mr Robinson told this newspaper: “The London allowance is a matter which is dealt with by the authorities and has to meet the criteria that they set down. It’s not a housing allowance, it’s a London allowance.”

    According to Land Registry documentation, the MP couple purchased their Docklands property for £450,000 in 2001.

  • Gregory

    “There has been controversy over the fact that husband and wife MPs are each entitled to claim the full ACA amount, while sharing the same accommodation ”

    They’re elected individually.

    It is important, or it was, not to do anything which would hurt the interests of people who were not well-heeled.

    (I know the days of starving MPs are long gone)

    A lot of EU fraud is down to that, but a double dollop of London allowance for a single gaff, is not the end of the world.

    The EU encourages poor MEPs to go bonkers on translating hi-price tickets to freight-style budget flights,

    The thing is, as per officering in HM regiments, there was a time it cost money to serve. So over time, adjustments were made for the fixed collar people to get a few bob.

    G.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s fairly easy to criticize the Robinson’s for this. It should be fair, however. I would expect an individual to have a one bedroom flat but a couple should be entitled to two bedrooms or a bedroom and study. That will obviously cost more. How much more? I have no idea.

  • barnshee

    “The EU encourages poor MEPs to go bonkers on translating hi-price tickets to freight-style budget flights”

    The current salary for a UK MEP (and a backbench MP is £60277)

    + snouts in trough- eg claim for 1st class travel go basic and sleep in office -claim hotel etc etc

    The whole gang had to resign in 1999

    (The 1994-99 European Commission (under Jacques Santer) was forced to resign by the European Parliament when a number of malpractices were revealed (including the employment of a personal friend as an advisor by the French Commissioner Edith Cresson))

    Added that to they disciplined anyone finding and worse, reporting the fraud. (Paul van Buitenen who reported the above was suspended, had his salary halved and ordered to face disciplinary action.)

    So “bonkers” –well the only people bonkers are the poor tax payers who continue to allow this monstrous process to continue. Poor MEPs on “only” £60277pa (plus “expenses”

  • Gregory

    barnshee

    You make flexible accounting sound dishonest.

    As for the people who touted on them, a guy is forced to sleep in his office, and a colleague (from the rich west) drops a dime on him? That’s appalling.

    Next we’ll be banning 14 year old black taxis from Stormont. It’s the bourgeois morality of having the right chit. The only reason they don’t do it at Stormont is that their feet would be in the corridor.

    What about the poverty of ‘space’. Even the debating chamber is too small to swing a cat, the building ‘looks big’, but there ain’t a lot of room in the individual MLA work billets.

    If an MEP with cabbage soup on his tie want to work a few Euro by cudding up with his xerox, then in his day and age of permissiveness, it is not for us in Ulster to point the finger.

    If an MEP from some impossibly desolate part of the EU can pocket a few quid by sleeping on a park bench, I have no problem with lending him a few newspapers to keep warm.

    Darn it, we’re all Europeans.

    G.

  • Dave

    “Darn it, we’re all Europeans.” – Gregory

    Only in the same context that we are all Earthlings. I completely reject any form of illegitimate citizenship offered by that emerging nation state.

  • Alex S

    When the police got rent allowance a married couple got half each, why not married MPs?

  • joeCanuck

    Because Alex S, someone (surely not the MPs themselves) made different rules.

  • Gregory

    “Only in the same context that we are all Earthlings. I completely reject any form of illegitimate citizenship offered by that emerging nation state.”

    The only thing in the EU which is allowed to be straight is a banana.

    As a conservative, pro-family, pro-Bush, anti-jihadi, deeply concerned type of person, I have no agenda in the banana department, other than to say, that I have grave reservations about selling them to under eighteens.

    But, if we are going to force that type of thing on our society, I see no reason why they can’t be bent, everything else is bent, our coppers, judges, politicians etc.