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Expenses



SOUTH NORFOLK MP Richard Bacon has published full details of the claims he has made under the Additional Costs Allowance, also known as the 2nd Home Allowance. 

Read Richard's Q&A on the Expenses Crisis here

You can find details of Richard's claims under the new expenses system by searching on the website of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).


Sir Thomas Legg's Review of 2nd Home Allowance
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Letter to Richard Bacon MP from Sir Thomas Legg
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Richard Bacon MP's claims under the
Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure
(formerly known as the Additional Costs Allowance)
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2009-10 (PDF - opens in new window)

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2008-09  (PDF - opens in new window)

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2004-05 to 2007-08 inclusive
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Richard Bacon MP's claims under the
Incidental Expenses Provision/Staff Allowance

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2007-08* (PDF - opens in new window)

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2006-07* (PDF - opens in new window)

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2005-06* (PDF - opens in new window)

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2004-05* (PDF - opens in new window)

     
   

* - These details published by the House of Commons authorities


Q&A: RICHARD BACON ON MPs’ EXPENSES

Why are you publishing your expenses now?
I think taxpayers have the right to know how their money is used. I thought I could rely on the House of Commons authorities to publish MPs’ expenses soon but it turns out that I can’t. So I have decided to publish my own expenses now, so that people can judge for themselves.

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Have you ever “flipped” your main home address between London and Norfolk?
No. My main home address is in Norfolk, where I lived since before I was elected to Parliament. Technically I might have been able to switch addresses but it would not have felt right.  Why would I say that a little flat in London is my main home when it isn’t?

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Why should MPs have a second home?
Unless you represent a constituency which is near to London, it is not possible to do the job of representing people in Parliament unless you have somewhere to stay.  I don’t want to see a situation where only rich people can become MPs.  Personally, I could not possibly afford a second home in addition to the cost of my family home in Norfolk unless there were an allowance for a second home.

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What is your own approach to making claims?

I ask myself “Is this reasonable”? It is not just a question of whether the claim is “within the rules” but whether the claim is “within the spirit of the rules”. I wouldn’t buy an expensive stereo or plasma TV just because it was technically possible.

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What have you spent the second home allowance on? Over the last 4 years I have spent two thirds of the second home allowance on paying the rent. As London rents have gone up, the proportion I spend on paying the rent has increased. At the time of the expenses scandal, my rent was £380 per week, which took up 82% of the entire allowance.

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Couldn’t you get something cheaper?

Actually £380 per week just gets me a fairly basic ex-council flat in commuting distance of Parliament.  Unfortunately London is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

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What else have you spent money on apart from paying the rent?

For details of each claim please see the attached document.  I have bought some second hand furniture, which may not make for the smartest flat in town but it does the job.  I have also spent money on curtains and decorating.  The second home allowance is there to pay for the costs of having a second home in London. That is what I have used it for.  Please take a look at my expenses and judge for yourself.

More broadly, the proportion of the allowance I have spent on different items over the last four years is as follows:

Rent 66.0%
Food 10.7%  
Painting & decorating 5.7%  
Council Tax 3.8%  
Utilities 3.5%  
Hotels 2.5%  
Soft furnishing 2.4%  
Furniture 2.0%  
Other Household items 0.9%  
Electrical 0.5%  
Cleaning 0.5%  
Service/Maintenance 0.5%  
Security 0.4%  
Repairs 0.3%  
Kitchen equipment 0.2%

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More generally, what do you think about the crisis over MPs’ expenses?
The crisis over MPs’ expenses has quite rightly made people very angry. It has shaken people’s confidence in our whole system and stained all MPs. It leads people to think that all MPs are only in politics for what they can get out of it.  This is not what I believe but I completely understand why people do. I also think the Daily Telegraph has performed a public service by publishing information that should have been publicly available anyway.

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Have you supported reform through your votes in Parliament?
Yes.  Last year in a vote in Parliament I was one of 144 MPs who voted for full reform of expenses. Sadly we were defeated by 172 MPs who voted against reform. A full list of those who voted for and against reform is in this article on the internet.

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Where do we go from here?
We need a revolution in the way MPs’ expenses are handled. All expenses claims should be published on the internet at the time they are made.  I have always believed in much greater openness about the use of taxpayers’ money.  As a member of the Commons public accounts committee, I spend much of my time at Westminster tracking the use and misuse of taxpayers’ money. I don’t see why it should be any different for MPs.

More widely, I hope we will end up with serious reform of how we are governed in Britain. Government is far too secretive in this country and we need more openness. People have the right to know what is done in their name and they also have the right to know how their taxes are spent. 

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Why did you sign the original Motion calling on the Speaker to resign?
At the moment no one has much confidence in Parliament and I don’t blame them. For the sake of the whole country, this has to change.  We need a new Speaker to lead us out of this mess. It was certainly not the previous Speaker’s fault that some MPs have made outrageous claims but I am afraid he has blocked reform and spent taxpayers’ money in the courts to try and prevent publication of MPs’ expenses. I was glad the previous Speaker decided to resign. 

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