MPs fear voter backlash over expenses

Link: MPs accused of using tax breaks for ‘jollies’

The detailed figures, which will enable people to see exactly how much each MP costs the taxpayer, will be released under the Freedom of Information Act.

But many MPs – especially those with homes in London and a distant constituency – fear that the amounts involved will enrage electors already disillusioned with the political process and the sums involved in financing it.

They fear ‘league tables’ of expenses appearing in newspapers leading to criticism. It is rumoured that since the new-style accounts were announced, some MPs have been trying to reduce the amounts they claim.

The new accounts will force MPs to detail the total amount each has claimed in several different categories from 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04.

A typical claim would include: £66,458 to £77,534 for staff; £19,325 for incidental expenses; £20,902 for additional costs such as accommodation; and rail and air fares for them and their families.

Mileage claims can include 20p per mile for bicycles and 57.7p per mile for the first 20,000 miles each year for a car.

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