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Friday, October 27, 2006

So much money!

The House of Commons has published MPs expenses for April 2005 to March 2006. A total of £85 million in all, but that is the price of democracy.

By far the most interesting column in the list is 7a: postage costs associated with the use of House of Commons Stationery. The variations in expenditure under this heading is massive. How, for example can an MP justify spending £25,146 on stamps in a year when another MP spent only £79? We could ask of course but, as I said yesterday, they will not tell us.

Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain once more comes near the top of the list for postage costs amongst Welsh MPs with an expenditure of £7,512. This is a tidy sum in itself. In contrast his next door neighbour, Hywel Francis of Aberavon, spent only £2,869 under this heading. Maybe Mr. Hain would like to voluntarily detail why he needed to spend almost £5,000 more on stamps than nearly every other Welsh MP. After all he is quick enough to criticise AMs.
You were commenting on Peter Hain's expenditure, but there is one point that i hope that you will clarify for me.

Does he have a seperate ministerial allowance or do all the costs incured because of his position as minister go onto this MPs' allowance?
He has allowances as an MP which he can use as he wishs (though within certain rules) to employ staff and run an office for the benefit of his constituents and to enable him to do his job. There is no such allowance for a Minister. Instead they have access to the full resources of the Government (mostly the civil service) which they use to carry out their Ministerial duties.
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