THE expenses scandal was declared “history” after figures revealed MPs in the Merseyside area claimed a total of £3.35m in parliamentary allowances in 12 months.
The Commons authorities said the claims – the vast majority of which were for office and staffing costs – proved the system had been cleaned up since the exposes that sent four MPs to jail.
The highest sum in Merseyside was the £173,711.97 received by Bill Esterson, the Labour MP for Sefton Central.
In contrast, Stephen Mosley, the Conservative MP for nearby City of Chester, billed the taxpayer for just £103,859.50, in the financial year 2011-12.
There were big disparities in the claims for accommodation, from the £22,040.61 claimed by Steve Rotheram (Lab; Liverpool Walton) to nothing at all in four cases.
Frank Field (Lab; Birkenhead), David Mowat (Con; Warrington South), George Osborne (Con; Tatton) – the Chancellor, who enjoys grace-and-favour homes, including in Downing Street – and Shaun Woodward (Lab; St Helens South) all claimed nothing for a second home.
In 2011-12, MPs were allowed to bill for a total of £20,000 for a home in London – which must, for those elected for the first time in 2010, be rented – but £2,425 more for each dependent child.