MPs pay £3m in salaries to family members

Discussion in 'U.K.' started by Mr. Frankenstein, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Sunderland

    MPs are still paying nearly £3million of public money to family members despite attempts by the new expenses watchdog to tighten up the system, analysis by the Bureau can reveal.

    Nearly a fifth of all MPs still employ members of their family, despite wide criticism of the practice during the expenses scandal.

    The 136 MPs who continue to pay salaries to ‘connected parties’ employ them in roles including office manager, secretary, and parliamentary assistant, according to figures collected by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for the financial year 2010-2011.

    More than 40 family members were paid £30,000 or above, and six received between £40,000 and £44,999. Those paying relatives include 27 new MPs.

    Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life caled for ISPA to look again at allowing the practice amid fears that it could be abused.

    ‘In our report the Committee recommended that MPs should no longer be able to employ family members at taxpayer’s expense. Although we heard plenty of evidence during our inquiry that many spouses and family members were doing a good job … we continue to be concerned about the potential for abuse – perceived or otherwise – which this creates and we hope that IPSA will keep this under review.’

    The six MPs who paid out the highest include:

    Tom Harris, who employed his wife Carolyn as office manager

    Peter Bone, who employed his wife Jeanette as office manager

    Sir Alan Haselhurst, who employed his wife Lady Angela Haselhurst as office manager

    Stephen Hammond, who employed his wife Sally as senior parliamentary assistant

    Graham Brady, who employed his wife Victoria Lowther as senior parliamentary assistant

    Christopher Chope, who employed his wife Christine as secretary

    Employing a relative is one of the most controversial practices still allowed under the changed expenses rules.

    In 2009 the Committee on Standards in Public Life, headed by Sir Christopher Kelly, recommended a ban on the practice as it was ‘not consistent with modern employment practice designed to ensure fairness in recruitment, management of staff and remuneration; and it will always carry with it a suspicion of abuse.’

    Then-prime minister Gordon Brown accepted the report’s conclusions, but the head of IPSA Sir Ian Kennedy later said one family member per MP can be employed.

    Both MPs who currently sit on the Committee’s board, Oliver Heald and Margaret Beckett, employ family member.

    Three MPs employed more than one relative in 2010-11, including Sir Peter Soulsby who employed his wife and two daughters. This is within the rules if the family members were employed before the 2010 election and are not replaced when they leave.

    Sir Peter has since stepped down as an MP to become the mayor of Leicester.

    Laurence Robertson, Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, employed both his estranged wife and his new partner at a combined cost of at least £55,000. He declined to comment on this situation.

    Sir Stuart Bell’s wife was paid over £35,000 as office manager, although he has no constituency office. The Evening Gazette in Middlesborough recently reported that no-one had answered the phone at his home or Westminster office despite them making 100 attempts over several months.

    Information on salaries is only published in bands, but the total amount paid to MPs’ families last year was between £2.8m and £3.5m. Twenty-seven new MPs employed a relative.

    Most of the family members are wives or husbands, but eight sons or daughters were employed. Others include a niece, daughter-in-law, and even a mother.

    Sir Christopher Kelly added that the expenses system should be ‘beyond any suspicion of abuse’.

    The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has previously said he supports a ban.

    Last year’s figures are lower than those paid out at the height of the MPs’ expenses scandal, when up to £5.8m was paid to family members. But many will feel the bill is still too high.

    Graham Brady MP, who employs his wife Victoria Lowther as senior parliamentary assistant, said: ‘All my staff are employed on the appropriate pay scales reflecting their experience, qualifications and responsibilities.’

    Sally Hammond, who earns between £40,000 and £44,999 as senior parliamentary assistant to her husband Stephen, defended her arrangement. She told the Bureau: ‘I have twenty-five years of experience of working for Members of Parliament and our arrangements conform to all IPSA requirements.’
  2. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Sunderland

    Who's raking it in ? Is your MP on the list ? (Mine is !)

    In alphabetical order of first names.

    Adrian Bailey: Jill Bailey £9,999
    Adrian Sanders: Alison Sanders £29,999
    Aidan Burley: Jodie Jones £29,999
    Alan Campbell: Jayne Campbell £4,999
    Alan Haselhurst: Angela Margaret £44,999
    Alan Meale: Diana Gilhespy £19,999
    Albert Owen: Samuel Blyth £29,999
    Alec Shelbrooke: Susan Shelbrooke £14,999
    Alex Cunningham: John Cunningham £9,999
    Alistair Burt: Eve Burt £39,999
    Andrew George: Jill George £4,999
    Andrew Miller: Frances Miller £29,999
    Andrew Robathan: Rachel Robathan £24,999
    Andrew Smith: Valerie Smith £14,999
    Andrew Turner: Carole Dennett £19,999
    Angela Smith: Steven Wilson £39,999
    Angus MacNeil: Jane MacNeil £24,999
    Angus Robertson: Carron Anderson £29,999
    Annette Brooke: Eleanor Perera £4,999
    Barry Gardiner: Caroline Smith £24,999
    Ben Wallace: Liza Wallace £24,999
    Bill Cash: Bridget Cash £29,999
    Bob Ainsworth: Gloria J Ainsworth £14,999
    Bob Blackman: Nicola Blackman £34,999
    Brian Donohoe: Christine Donohoe £24,999
    Caroline Flint: Phil Cole £39,999
    Cathy Jamieson: Ian Sharpe £14,999
    Charles Walker: Fiona Walker £29,999
    Cheryl Gillan: John Leeming £19,999
    Chris Grayling: Susan Grayling £39,999
    Chris Ruane: Gillian Roberts £24,999
    Chris Williamson: Margaret Amsbury £29,999
    Christopher Chope: Christine Chope £49,999
    Clive Betts: James Thomas £34,999
    Craig Whittaker: Sophie Whittaker £19,999
    Dan Jarvis: Rachel Brookes £9,999
    Dan Rogerson: Heidi Rogerson £9,999
    Daniel Poulter: Carol Poulter £39,999
    David Amess: Julia Amess £19,999
    David Burrowes: Rebecca Chard £39,999
    David Crausby: Enid Crausby £39,999
    David Davies: Aliz Harnisfoger-Davies £9,999
    David Davis: Doreen Margery Davis £34,999
    David Hamilton: Jean Hamilton £29,999
    David Mundell: Oliver Mundell £29,999
    Dennis Skinner: Lois Blasenheim £39,999
    Derek Twigg: Mary Twigg £29,999
    Desmond Swayne: Moira Swayne £9,999
    Diana Johnson: Kevin Morton £39,999
    Frank Roy: Ellen Roy £4,999
    Gareth Johnson: Wendy Johnson £14,999
    Gary Streeter: Janet Vanessa Streeter £14,999
    Gavin Williamson: Joanne Williamson £4,999
    George Howarth: Julie Howarth £34,999
    George Young: Camilla Young £34,999
    Glenda Jackson: Clare Fletcher £9,999
    Glyn Davies: Bobbie Davies £19,999
    Graham Brady: Victoria Lowther £44,999
    Graham Evans: Cheryl Evans £24,999
    Graham Stringer: Eleanor Carr £29,999
    Graham Stuart: Niki Roberts £34,999
    Graham Morris: Michelle Morris £14,999
    Greg Knight: Janet Knight £24,999
    Gregory Campbell: Frances Campbell £19,999
    Helen Grant: Simon Grant £9,999
    Helen Jones: Michael Vobe £39,999
    Henry Bellingham: Emma Bellingham £14,999
    Henry Smith: Jennifer Lois Millar-Smith £24,999
    Hilary Benn: Sally Clark £24,999
    Hugo Swire: Alexandra Sasha Swire £34,999
    Hywel Francis: Mair Francis £44,999
    Iain McKenzie: Alison McKenzie £4,999
    Iain Wright: Tiffany Wright £29,999
    Ian Davidson: Morag MacKinnon £34,999
    Ian Lavery: Hilary Lavery £24,999
    Ian Liddell-Grainger: Jill Liddell-Grainger £34,999
    Ian Lucas: Noah Lucas £9,999
    Ian Murray: Hannah Woolfson £9,999
    Ian Swales: Anne Marie Swales £9,999
    Jackie Doyle-Price: Mark Steven Coxshall £19,999
    James Gray: Phillipa Gray £34,999
    James Paice: Ava Paice £14,999
    Jeffry Donaldson: Eleanor Donaldson £24,999
    Jim Dobbin: Mary Dobbin £34,999
    Jim Hood: Marion Stewart Hood £24,999
    Jim Sheridan: Joanne Riley £29,999
    Joe Benton: Doris Benton £24,999
    John Healey: Jackie Bate £14,999
    John Mann: Joanna White £34,999
    John Robertson: Laura Robertson £4,999
    John Stevenson: Tracy Nixon £9,999
    Julian Brazier: Katharine Elizabeth Brazier £19,999
    Julie Elliott: Miles Elliott £24,999
    Karen Bradley: Neil Bradley £44,999
    Karl McCartney: Cordelia McCartney £39,999
    Kelvin Hopkins: Patricia Hopkins £14,999
    Kevin Barron: Andree Deane £14,999
    Laurence Robertson: Anne Marie Adams £44,999
    Lee Scott: Estelle Scott £34,999
    Liam Byrne: Sarah Harnett £9,999
    Linda Riordan: Stephen Roberts £39,999
    Lindsay Hoyle: Catherine Hoyle £14,999
    Malcolm Bruce: Rosemary Bruce £35,000
    Margaret Beckett: Lionel Beckett £30,000
    Mark Garnier: Caroline Garnier £40,000
    Mark Pritchard: Sondra Spaeth £45,000
    Mark Simmonds: Lizbeth Simmonds £25,000
    Mark Tami: Sally Tami £20,000
    Martin Caton: Bethan Caton £35,000
    Martin Vickers: Ann Vickers £10,000
    Meg Munn: Dennis Bates £25,000
    Menzies Campbell: Elspeth Cambpell £30,000, Donald Lothian £25,000
    Michael Dugher: Joanna Dugher £35,000
    Michael Fallon: Wendy Fallon £20,000
    Michael McCann: Tracey Ann McCann £35,000
    Michael Moore: Alison Moore £20,000
    Mike Penning; Angela Penning £35,000
    Nadine Dorries: Phillipa Dorries £45,000, Jennifer Dorries £35,000
    Neil Parish: Susan Parish £20,000
    Nigel Adams: Claire Adams £20,000
    Oliver Heald: Christine Heald £40,000
    Owen Paterson: Rose Paterson £35,000
    Patrick McLoughlin: Lynn McLoughlin £40,000
    Patrick Mercer: Susan Gray £40,000
    Paul Beresford: Julie Beresford £30,000
    Paul Farrelly: Victoria Perry £5,000
    Paul Flynn: Lynne Flynn £20,000
    Peter Aldous: Mark Bee £10,000
    Peter Bone: Jeanette Bone £50,000
    Phil Wilson: Margaret Brown £40,000
    Philip Davies: Deborah Davies £25,000
    Phillip Lee: Anthony Lee £10,000
    Rehman Chishti: Nusrat Ahmed £25,000
    Richard Ottaway: Nicola Ottaway £15,000
    Richard Shepherd: Davida Catleugh £40,000
    Robert Buckland: Sian Reed £5,000
    Robert Goodwill: Maureen Goodwill £20,000
    Roger Gale: Susan Gale £40,000
    Ronnie Campbell: Deirdre Campbell £15,000
    Russell Brown: Gillian Carey £25,000
    Sharon Hodgson: Alan Hodgson £35,000
    Simon Danczuk: Karen Burke £30,000
    Simon Hart: Abigail Hart £25,000
    Stephen Crabb: Beatrice Crabb £20,000
    Stephen Gilbert: Jaqueline Bull £15,000
    Stephen Hammond: Sally Hammond £45,000
    Stephen Pound: Maggie Pound £25,000
    Teresa Pearce: Paul O’Neill £10,000
    Tim Loughton: Elizabeth Loughton £10,000
    Tom Harris: Carolyn Harris £35,000
    Tony Lloyd: Angharad Lloyd £10,000
    Valerie Vaz: Paul Townsend £40,000
    William McCrea: Robert Watters £25,000
    Yvonne Fovargue: Paul Kenny £25,000
  3. playoff

    playoff Guest

    Classic abuse of power. Damn these people, why do we vote them in?
  4. Mr Kite

    Mr Kite Member

    A very sick joke.
  5. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Sunderland

    Just struck me as interesting that so many are a pound short....24,999 etc.

    Is that an extra tax dodge of some kind ?

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