[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 17:12 GMT
MPs 'must reveal' travel expenses
Parliament
MPs' expenses are only set out under broad headings
The House of Commons could be forced to release a more detailed breakdown of MPs' travel expenses after losing a Freedom of Information case.

The Information Tribunal rejected two appeals by Commons authorities that revealing further details would breach data protection principles.

MPs' expenses are published each year, but only under broad headings.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who made one of the FOI requests, said he was "delighted" with the ruling.

Figures released last October revealed that MPs had claimed almost 86.8m in expenses and allowances during the previous year, an increase of nearly 6m on the previous year.

'No reason'

The 2005/06 payments - about 131,000 per MP - come on top of a basic salary of 59,686 and a pension.

Mr Baker, MP for Lewes, said: "There is absolutely no reason not to release this information to the public.

"I am the first to defend people's right to privacy but I do not think this information is personal in the least.

"This information will simply let people know much MPs are spending on different modes of travel. If the public are paying then they have the right to know what the money is being spent on."

He added: "Let us see which MPs are caring for the environment by using public transport around town and which are still happily driving everywhere despite available alternatives."

The House of Commons must now release the information within 30 days, or appeal to the High Court on a point of law.


SEE ALSO
MPs' expenses claims exceed 86m
26 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
MPs' expenses claims exceed 80m
27 Oct 05 |  UK Politics
The MPs who dare to say no...and yes
27 Oct 05 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific