MPs claimed more than ?86 million in expenses and allowances last year, according to the latest figures published.
Details of the expenses claimed by individual MPs and peers between April 2005 and March 2006 where revealed with the third annual publication of parliamentary allowances.
Last year’s figures revealed that MPs claimed ?80,844,465 in allowances and expenses in 2004/05 – an increase of 3.8 per cent on the previous year and the equivalent of ?122,677 each.
This year’s figures are higher, in part due to the fact that they included ?4 million claimed by MPs who retired or lost their seats at the last general election, bet you didn?t know they get full pay for the rest of their lives and they call this a pension .
This figure includes winding-up allowances for any casework they carried over after leaving Parliament. Allowances and expenses claimed by MPs come on top of their basic salary – currently ?59,686, but due to go up to ?60,277 on November 1.
Up to ?87,276 can be claimed for salaries for researchers, secretaries and other staff. Other allowances can be claimed for travel on parliamentary business, office costs, stationery, postage and computer equipment. Around ?20,000 can be claimed by MPs with constituencies outside central London to pay for the cost of staying in the capital to attend Parliament.
Ministers, whose accommodation is paid for by the taxpayer, can opt to claim the money for their constituency homes.
Tony Blair claimed ?16,417 towards the cost of his house in Sedgefield as part of his ?93,996 allowances for 2004/05.