There has been a lot of talk recently about MPs expense claims, particularly the ‘second home’ or ‘additional costs’ allowance.
Here are the claims put in by Kevin Barron since 2001/2 – the earliest record I can find.
Additional Costs Allowance Claimed By Kevin Barron MP
2001/2 – £14,909 (364 out of 657 MPs)
2002/3 – £19,722 (joint 1st out of 657 MPs)
2003/4 – £20,333 (joint 3rd out of 658 MPs)
2004/5 – £20,902 (joint 1st out of 659 MPs)
2005/6 – £21,634
2006/7 – £22,11o (joint 1st out of 645 MPs)
2007/8 – £23,083 (joint 1st out of 645 MPs)
Kevin’s expenses seem to have jumped a bit in 2002 – by nearly a third in fact, lifting him from being one of the cheaper MPs to being one of the more expensive. They have remained over £20,00o a year ever since, which is enough to fund a mortgage of roughly £285,000. Or, to look at it another way, Parliament sat for 165 days in the 2007/8 session. Had Kevin Barron stayed in a hotel for each and every night he would have had £127 to spend. Given that I have stayed the night at the Kensington Hilton for £55 including two breakfasts this year I’m sure he could have found somwhere perfectly aceptable to stay. Of course I was paying my own bill (albeit it was tax-deductible) so I shopped around.
I wonder if it is a coincidence that Kevin Barron claimed the absolute maximum in 2007/8, and based on the fact that he was joint first, the absolute maximum in 2002, 2004 and 2006 too? It seems odd that his costs should happen to rise by exactly the same amount as the allowance, don’t you think?
This image shows the breakdown under all the categories, and is from theyworkforyou.com