MP annual expenses pass £80m mark

MPs claimed more than £80m in allowances and expenses last year – the equivalent of £122,677 each, new figures show.

The total of £80,844,465 in 2004-05, contained in a document released by Westminster officials under freedom of information legislation, was an increase of £2,799,316 on the previous year.

The figures show that prime minister Tony Blair claimed a total of £93,996 – the majority of it going on staff salaries.

Conservative Party leader Michael Howard claimed £133,526, while the two contenders to succeed him, David Cameron and David Davis, received £123,454 and £126,685 respectively.

MP Nick Harvey, spokesman for the Members Estimate Committee, said the figures showed the public received “excellent value for money”.

“This money is for the essential expenses of staffing and running their offices in Parliament and in the area they represent,” he said. “This provision is tightly controlled and carefully scrutinised.”

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