My old Nan used to say to me “What don’t speak can’t lie” and this is an undeniable truth.
So following on from Monday’s blog re Iain Duncan Smith I decided I’d have a look at MPs expenses in general. So if you have no interest in MPs’ expenses or numbers in general you may as well stop reading here.
To be fair to all concerned I have taken absolutely no notice of Constituency or Party informations. I don’t care who they are or who they represent, I just care that they’re not taking the piss with our (the taxpayers’) money. I also decided to concentrate on the most recent information available, 2012-2013, the latest full year’s data. All publicly declared expenses claims, published by IPSA and available here.
If you just want to look at what YOUR MP has been claiming for and are not interested in all the others, you can start looking at that here.
In 2012-13 there were 99,068 claims for expenses, made by 646 MPs. Not that I’m a great believer in averages, but that works out at an average of 153 claims per MP, The total amount claimed was £14,600,542 or £22,601 per MP. That was the total amount CLAIMED, the total amount PAID was a mere £14,596,029 or £22,594 per MP.
The average value per claim was just over £147.
But life isn’t all about averages. As with everything in life there are winners and losers, so I have produced a League Table of MPs Expenses Claimers.
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Congratulations go to the winner of the inaugural RetiredAndAngry prize for Most Prolific Expenses Claims at a whopping 734, Laurence Robertson. I decided that I would take a look and see just what sort of things Mr Robertson was claiming for; and found that his claims include 2 claims for 90 pence each in respect of travelling 2 miles each in his own private car. Now, I’m certainly not disputing that these journeys were made, but it’s the sort of mileage claim that I would not have bothered making, and maybe walking would have been a better option anyway.
In fact, on no less than 244 occasions Mr Robertson has claimed expenses, from the Taxpayers’ Purse, for amounts of £5 or less.
Again, I’m not challenging the authenticity of any of these claims but just because you CAN claim something it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD or MUST claim it. Across the board nearly 17,000 claims for expenses were submitted for amounts less than a fiver.
We/You are constantly being told to pull our belts in and do more with less.
Are your expenses claims declined?
Do you claim every last penny to which you’re entitled or do you have your own personal threshold below which you can’t be bothered to claim? Over 2,000 of the claims were for an amount of £1 or less,
An examination of MPs’ expenses would seem to indicate that it’s perfectly acceptable to claim ridiculously small amounts providing that one is entitled to make the claim in the first place.
All In This Together? We never have been and we never will be.
I do have a wealth of information available re individual MPs expenses, so if you want to know more about what YOUR MP is claiming for then DM or email me and I’ll try and help you.