The figures for the last year of expense claims made by our MPs make grim reading:
£115,714,079 is the amount of money MPs have taken in expenses from 1st of October 2017 to 30 September 2018.
Yet families are living in poverty, veterans are living on the streets, the NHS is struggling, Police budgets have been cut ?
— Danny Tommo (@DanielT64518410) February 11, 2019
It is worth remembering that these expenses include the cost of staffing and maintaining constituency offices which do perform a function for communities when they undertake casework.
However, the system is still open to widespread abuse. As Politicalite reported, Lisa Nandy claimed over £1 million in expenses despite coming from a background which suggests, on-top of her substantial salary for being an MP in the first-place, she would have potentially substantial independent means. Jacob Rees-Mogg, who comes from a similarly well-heeled background and has substantial outside interests, claimed just £900.
Another horror story comes from the Labour benches. Labour Shadow International Development Secretary, Kate Osamor was forced to resign her post in the Shadow Cabinet last year as she employs in a communications capacity, at the taxpayers expense, her son, who is a convicted drug dealer. Exploitative unpaid internships are also still a staple of the Westminster diet and something that it relies on to run.
The system is in need of a radical but rational overhaul. Deprive MPs of any support and politics will become the playground of the rich with realistically only rich people being able to afford to become an MP. However, the current system is still clearly open to abuse and MPs still clearly see expenses as a perk of the job which they take full advantage of and in doing so they milk the taxpayer.
You can view the breakdown of the claims here.