East Anglia: MPs’ expenses claims fall

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

FOUR years after MPs’ expenses claims hit the headlines, the latest figures from the body that oversees them shows how they have settled down.

What MPs claimed

What MPs claimed - Credit: Archant

The figures are published every two months in arrears – the latest numbers published run until the end of November last year. They show that most MPs had claimed slightly less in 2012/13 than they did in the corresponding period the previous year, but there was little major change.

Only two MPs in Suffolk and north Essex showed a rise, but this was relatively modest – and although his claims increased, Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley still had the lowest expenses of any Suffolk MP. Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin’s expenses went down by nearly half and are the lowest in the area.

Tim Yeo’s expenses fell by nearly £14,000 and the claims of both the newly-appointed government ministers, West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, fell by about £6,000 each. The expenses claims are handled and published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority which was set up in the wake of the expenses scandal of 2009.

The IPSA has recently carried out a market review of rental properties in London better to reflect the amount paid to MPs to allow them to rent flats near Westminster.

IPSA will now pay up to £20,100 a year for rent on flats in London – or if the MP chooses to buy a property in the capital he or she can claim for the rental of a property in the constituency.

The maximum they could claim for a constituency home is £11,050 in most of East Anglia.

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There are strict rules on what MPs can pay for. They can claim for the cost of a television licence, phone line, and broadband connection to the property they rent. However they cannot claim for cleaners or buying furniture.

There are also rules about who can act as landlords for MPs. They cannot rent a flat from a member of their family or a close business associate.

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