Taxpayers foot £1.4m bill for region’s eight MPs

David Ruffley, Conservative PPC for Bury St Edmunds 2010
David Ruffley, Conservative PPC for Bury St Edmunds 2010
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TWO years after news of the MPs expenses scandal first broke in the British media it is still a controversial subject.

And according to figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, eight MPs representing Suffolk and Norfolk constituencies cost taxpayers more than £1.4 million last year.

Tim Yeo, Conservative PPC for South Suffolk 2010

Tim Yeo, Conservative PPC for South Suffolk 2010

The authority, set up in 2009, has released details of all MPs’ expenses claims and annual salaries.

The MPs’ annual expenditures include details of staffing costs, travel expenses and claims for accommodation between their elections to office in May 2010 and April 2011.

In Suffolk, Tim Yeo, south Suffolk MP, cost taxpayers the most, recording a total expenditure of more than £202,000, which includes an additional payment of £10,500 for his role as a committee chairman.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley cost the least, with an annual expenditure of just over £165,000, but this included three months between June and October 2010 when he was signed off sick. He said: “MP’s allowances should in this day and age be transparent so I believe online publication of them is a very good thing.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous had a total expenditure of more than £172,000 but made no claims for travel and subsistence.

Emma Boon, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said the new transparent IPSA system was good.

“Publishing expenses more openly means taxpayers have more power to hold MPs to account for how their money is spent. Suffolk and south west Norfolk taxpayers can now challenge their MPs over the difference in what they each cost. MPs have more of an incentive to try and keep their costs down when they know that expenditure is published,” she said.