“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.