Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

How to check your MP's expense claims

Claim form
Thousands of new documents have been scanned and published online

A fresh set of MPs' expenses claims has been published by Parliament, but what information does it reveal about our elected representatives, and where can it be found?

The latest batch of expenses documents from Parliament contains details of what each MP has claimed for under their second home allowance - the money MPs are reimbursed to cover the costs they incur on parliamentary duty while away from their main home.

WHERE TO FIND THE DOCUMENTS
The documents are published on Parliament's website
Each MP's expenses dating back to 2004 are gathered together by name
The new documents are headed "Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure 2009-2010" and "Additional Cost Allowance 2008-09"
Second home designations have also been published
Find out how much your MP claimed in total -

The new documents cover the financial year 2008-2009, when the allowance's upper limit was £24,006 and the first three months of this financial year, when the allowance was raised slightly to £24,222.

The name of the allowance, claims under which embarrassed some MPs when they were made public earlier this year, changed during the period covered by today's release.

The second home allowance was also known as the Additional Cost Allowance or ACA until it was recast as the Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure, or PAAE, at the beginning of this financial year.

CHANGING CLAIM THRESHOLDS
July 2009: Receipts needed for all claims
April 2009: Receipts needed for claims over £25
Prior to April 2009: Receipts needed for claims over £250

Figures for the other allowances MPs can claim, for example staffing, travel and office costs, are not included in today's publications.

The publication of scanned individual receipts provides a highly detailed picture of what each member has claimed.

As well being able to see each individual receipt, the ACA form breaks down the amount spent by each MP by category, including; mortgage or rent, hotel stays, food, phone bills and other utilities.

New information released today also puts on record whether an MP's second home is in London, or in their constituency - or if they have changed the designation of a second home during the period covered by the receipts.

The documents released do not cover any repayments required by the current review into MPs' expenses paid out since April 2004.


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