£400,000 expenses bill for three MPs
PUBLISHED: 10:45 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:36 23 August 2010
A PARLIAMENTARY candidate is urging all MPs to justify their expenses after it was revealed more than £400,000 was paid to three MPs within a year. Dartford MP, Dr Howard Stoate claimed £147,732 and Gravesham MP, Adam Holloway received £146,933, accordin
A PARLIAMENTARY candidate is urging all MPs to justify their expenses after it was revealed more than £400,000 was paid to three MPs within a year.
Dartford MP, Dr Howard Stoate claimed £147,732 and Gravesham MP, Adam Holloway received £146,933, according to a published list of expenses for the financial year beginning in April 2007.
Sevenoaks MP, Michael Fallon claimed the least at £119, 667, which is paid on top of the £61,820 basic salary
This week a Populous poll also revealed a major drop in public confidence of MPs, with 27 per cent of people saying that nearly all MPs abuse the system and 42 per cent feel that the majority are abusing the system.
Dartford candidate Gareth Johnson said: "The public has lost faith in the ability of MPs to show honesty when it comes to expenses.
"We are a commuter town and it's important for MPs to commute with the people they represent. A second home allowance for a Dartford member is totally unnecessary and if elected I will not be claiming it. It is incumbent on MPs to restore faith in the system. The public have lost their confidence in MPs and that is a dangerous thing.
"It angers people to see apparent abuses of the system, regardless of whether it is within the current rules."
The second home allowance was designed to aid MPs who have to attend the Commons late at night and would find it hard to get home on a regular basis.
Mr Holloway, whose constituency is 25 miles from The Commons, defended the £22,587 he claimed for his 'staying away from the main home allowance'.
He said "We just can't win, the mood now questioning all that we can claim. I think the question should be asked: how accessible do we want our MPs to be?
"When I was elected I simply couldn't afford to run my own second home because I spent all my savings canvassing for a year and a half.
"I gave up the allowance for five months this year and tried commuting but my life was pretty miserable. I was finding I couldn't book meetings in the diary just so that I could get a decent amount of sleep. If constituents want to be able to contact their MP pretty much seven days a week then there needs to be a concession."
He added: "We earn less than a middle management salary, it's a big ask to fund two houses."
Dr Stoate, whose constituency office in Dartford, is 15 miles from Westminster, claimed £17,883 for his city accommodation and Michael Fallon, £22,853.
Both Michael Fallon and Dr Howard Stoate were unavailable as the Reporter went to press.
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