Tuesday, March 31, 2009

JOYCE AGAIN 'MOST EXPENSIVE' MP

Eric Joyce
Mr Joyce has pledged to make more use of rail services

Eric Joyce has again been dubbed Britain's most expensive MP, after claiming allowances for 2007/08 of more than £187,000.

The Falkirk Labour MP's travel costs alone came to £40,637, including £21,000 on airfares.

He has pledged to use the train more and publish a regular travel diary.

Two years ago Mr Joyce promised to halve his travel expenses after being dubbed Scotland's highest spending politician.

On that occasion he claimed allowances of £174,000, including £45,000 on travel.

Mr Joyce has been unavailable for comment on the day the details of MPs' allowances and expenses were revealed, although his voicemail directed journalists to the micro-blogging site Twitter.

There, his response stated: "Travel down (7% price rises) but still not the cheapest fly-drive deal in village. So, will publish monthly travel diary, use train more."

Linlithgow and East Falkirk Labour MP Michael Connarty, whose constituency is next to Mr Joyce's, claimed £183,466 in total, including a maximum of £23,083 to help pay for living costs in London, away from his main home.

In addition Mr Connarty claimed £27,259 on travel costs, including £13,384 on airfares.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael - whose Orkney and Shetland seat is one of the country's most remote constituencies - claimed £176, 190, which included £40,841 on airfares.

The total amount claimed by MPs was £93m - up by £5m.

Meanwhile, Downing Street announced a pay freeze for UK government ministers, but MPs' pay is to rise by 2.3%.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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