Thursday, 2 April 2009

How much does your MP Cost?

The Houses of Parliament Members Allowances Claims for 2007 to 2008 have just been published. The Hartlepool MP comes almost right at the bottom of the table. However, don't get too excited, it's not because he claimed the lowest amount of allowances, it's just because the list is published in alphabetical order!

Iain Wright MP claimed a total of £142,100 in the year 2007 to 2008. This was made up of £124475 in allowances from possible maximum of £151927 plus £3110 of postage and equipment on loan, Plus £14,515 travel between Home and Westminster. The last one being particularly irksome as anyone who commutes from home to work (most of us in effect) will know that travel from home to your place of work is expressly excluded from deductible expenses for tax purposes. Just another example of MPs giving themselves special privileges they deny to the rest of us.

The total breaks down as below

Cost of staying away from main home £17,882 (Maximum £23,083)
Office running costs £20,221 (maximum of £21,339)
Staffing costs £84,844 (maximum of £90,505)
Centrally purchased stationery £884 (maximum of £7,000)
Stationery associated postage costs £1,794 (No maximum identified)
Central IT provision £1,316 (cost of equipment supplied on loan to each Member)
Communications Allowance £644 (Maximum £10,000)

One Allowance Mr Wright unfortunately didn’t claim was the £37,281 Winding-up Allowance payable to defeated or retiring Members after the date on which they cease to be Members of Parliament. This covers the reimbursement of the cost of any work necessary, including staff and office costs, to conclude their parliamentary business after the date on which they cease to be Members of Parliament. Of course I live in hope that he will be receiving this payment sometime in 2010.

While roaming the Internet I also came across The Green Book which is the MPs guide to their own salaries, pensions and allowances. Some interesting reading in there!

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