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Wirral MPs' expenses revealed
WIRRAL’S four MPs received more than £650,000 in expenses between them, latest figures show.
On top of their £66,000 salaries, our local Parliamentarians shared £654,081 to cover costs such as their constituency offices, London accommodation, staffing and travel.
Their costs have soared by £84,725 since 2011/12 when the total came to £569,356.
The 2012/13 bill for all Westminster MPs' expenses rose by more than 7% to £98m, according to watchdog the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).
Spending is now higher than in the run-up to the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009.
Our MPs' claims were as follows:
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern (Lab) had the highest claim with a total of £190,159; of that sum, £133,588 went on staffing costs, £22,709 for accommodation and £10,530 on travel expenses.
Wirral West MP Esther McVey (Cons) claimed £170,928: £120,066 on staff; £20,000 for accommodation and £6,924 for travel.
Wallasey MP Angela Eagle (Lab) claimed £155,950: £130,226 on staff; £5,319 for accommodation and £5,058 for travel.
Birkenhead MP Frank Field (Lab) claimed £137,044: £120,000 on staff and £8,923 for travel. He made no claims for accommodation.
In 2011/12 the breakdown was Alison McGovern: £154,251; Esther McVey: £143,259; Angela Eagle: £140,199; Frank Field: £131,647.
Most of the increases seen across Westminster were down to larger staffing budgets - but the cost of MPs' personal expenses also rose from £23.5m in 2011/12 to £23.8m last year.
One MP - Tory Zac Goldsmith of Richmond Park - made no claim, while Tory business minister Michael Fallon, the Sevenoaks MP, received just £38 and party colleague Adam Afriyie, the Windsor MP, claimed £604.
Ipsa claimed it had saved the taxpayer £35m since taking over the expenses system in 2010.
The publication comes after the watchdog proposed lifting MPs' pay from £66,000 now to £74,000 after the 2015 general election - despite protests from David Cameron that the cost of politics must not be allowed to rise.
TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: "Taxpayers want to know that they are getting value for their money and they will have serious concerns about there being a hike in the overall cost of running MPs' offices over the last 12 months.
“While there have been many sensible changes to the expenses regime since the 2009 scandal, this kind of year-on-year rise is totally unsustainable and Ipsa has to explain to those of us footing the bill how that has been allowed to happen."
Ipsa was set up in response to the expenses scandal of 2009 which revealed a catalogue of sleaze.
The revelations - first exposed in the Daily Telegraph - made duck houses, moat-cleaning and "home flipping" notorious.
Four MPs and two members of the House of Lords have so far been jailed as a result of the expenses scandal. All have since been released.
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