Expenses give MPs multi-millionaire lifestyle


MPs’ generous expenses, index-linked pensions and second-home allowances give them a multi-millionaire lifestyle that their constituents could scarcely dream of, shock figures reveal today.

The effective income of the average MP is £319,165 – nearly 18 times the pay of the average voter, according to Bournemouth University tax expert Richard Teather, who has also produced a ‘fat-cat ranking’ for each of our Westminster representatives.

In his report, fTeather takes MPs’ basic salaries – ranging from £64,766 for backbenchers to £194,000 for the Prime Minister – and adds in their pension rights, another £17,357 for backbenchers, up to £52,059 for Gordon Brown.

But what is the value of all those expenses claims – from barbecues to bathplugs – that the rest of us would never have a hope of getting through our employers, never mind Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs? Teather says that to pocket what the average MP claims in expenses, free of tax and National Insurance, the rest of us would have to earn £228,215.

It all amounts to a total pay package worth £319,165 – and that is just the average. Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy tops the league table with a package of pay, pensions, and expenses worth £423,932 a year. That is more than 28 times the average income of his Torfaen constituents.

On the best interest rate currently available – 1.83% from Birmingham Midshires, you would need over £23 million (£23,165,683) to get an income matching Paul Murphy’s annual £423,932. You would need over £17 million (£17,440,710) to earn in interest what the average MP earns from Westminster.

To read the highlights of Richard Teather's research, click here

To read the coverage in the Mail, click here