MPs’ allowances under spotlight

8th April 2010. 'Linda Riordan MP for Halifax.
8th April 2010. 'Linda Riordan MP for Halifax.

CALDERDALE’S two MPs claimed more than £232,000 between them in allowances during 2010/11.

Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan claimed £118,754 which was broken down into £91,597 for staff, £10,315 for accommodation, £8,819 for her constituency office, £6,239 for general administration and £1,782 travel and subsistence.

Coun Craig Whittaker.

Coun Craig Whittaker.

Calder Valley Tory MP Craig Whittaker claimed £113,899 made up from £80,435 staffing, £17,203 accommodation, £8,708 general administration, £4,271 constituency office and £3,280 travel and subsistence.

He previously published them on his website ahead of the allowance records released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

Following the MPs expenses scandal much more scrutiny surrounds the claiming of allowances.

Mr Whittaker said: “The expenses today are not what they were prior to 2010.

“We tend to get budgets now rather than unlimited expenses.”

Mrs Riordan was unavailable for comment.

The regional league table was headed by disgraced Labour MP Eric Illsley who spent £151,245 but that was partly due to the one-off costs of £38,690 for winding up his office following his conviction.

He was jailed for 12 months earlier this year after admitting overclaiming £14,500. He was released on a curfew in May.

Foreign Secretary William Hague is Yorkshire’s “cheapest” MP claiming £71,037.

Austin Mitchell MP for Great Grimsby who has a house at Sowerby was third on the regional list claiming a total of £134,646.

Gerry Sutcliffe MP for Bradford South, which includes Queensbury, claimed £126,585.

IPSA was formed after the expenses scandal to take the system out of Parliamentary control, and tougher regulations means claims now have to be backed up by receipts, details are published more frequently and tighter restrictions have been placed on what can be claimed.