MPs’ Expenses Repayments: how the parties compare

by Stephen Tall on February 5, 2010

I’m very grateful to a pseudonymous Lib Dem commenter, Goupillon, on PoliticalBetting.com for emailing through to LDV his tables showing how the parties compare when it comes to the expenses repayments demanded of MPs by Sir Thomas Legg.

The tables which follow are based on data from the list of expenses
miscreants provided by the BBC.

Total expenses to be paid back based on party affiliation:

    Labour: £446,416.28
    Conservative: £449,821.83
    Lib Dem: £42,945.18
    Others: £38,575.96
    Total: £977,759.25

MPs per party who have been called on to pay back expenses:

(not including those who have successfully appealed against Sir Thomas Legg’s ruling in their individual cases)

    Labour: 180
    Conservative: 108
    Lib Dem: 23
    Others: 18
    Total: 329

Percentage of MPs per party or grouping who have had to repay expenses:

    Labour: 51.6%
    Conservative: 56.0%
    Lib Dem: 36.5%
    Others: 43.9%
    Overall: 50.9%

Amount to be repaid per MP based on the total number of MPs per party or grouping in the House of Commons:

    Labour: £1,279.13
    Conservative: £2,330.68
    Lib Dem: £681.67
    Others: £940.88
    Overall: £2,971.91

Goupillon’s calculations do not take into account the 3 Labour MPs who were rumoured to be under threat of prosecution as these MPs do not appear to be on the BBC’s list. He freely confesses there
may be errors in the calculations – if anyone spots these, please do .

The ‘Others’ grouping includes the Speaker and Deputy Speakers, vacant seats, DUP, SNP, PC, SF and Independents.

Frankly there’s not much comfort for any political party to draw from this saga. But, still, the figures do bear out the folllwing statements of fact:

  • Lib Dem MPs have had to repay just one-tenth of the expenses that either Labour or Tory MPs have racked-up;
  • Lib Dem MPs are the least likely to have had to repay any expenses (one-third of our MPs had to make a repayment; more than half of Labour and Tory MPs had to);
  • Lib Dem MPs’ average repayments were far lower than for either Labour or Tory MPs (about half as much as Labour’s, one-third of the Tories’).

But, still, I wouldn’t reckon on printing “we’re not as bad as the other two” too large on your Focus leaflets.