Expenses of former Prime Ministers set to be revealed

Posted On: 
3rd April 2016

Details of taxpayers' cash spent by former prime ministers after they left office must be released by the Government, a judge has ordered.

A judge has ruled the expenses of former prime ministers must be published.

Former premiers get a “public duty costs” allowance of up to £115,000 a year “due to the special place they hold in public life”.

A Freedom of Information request for details of where the money goes was rejected two years ago, with the Cabinet Office citing confidence and privacy restrictions.

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But a tribunal has overturned the decision and ordered the information to be released by 20 April.

Judge Anisa Dhanji declared there was a public interest in releasing the data, and the need for transparency was “arguably even greater” since the cash goes to to politicians who are no longer elected.

The total expenses costs of Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major and Margaret Thatcher have fallen from £407,000 to £216,000 since the baroness died in 2013.

MPs' EXPENSES SHAKE-UP

Meanwhile, MPs could be barred by the parliamentary watchdog from employing family members.

According to the Sunday Times the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has been “taken aback” by the number of MPs employing so-called 'connected parties', including 18 of the new intake.

A source told the paper the watchdog was “having another look at this”.

It also said the uplift allowance given to MPs who have dependent children living with them was an “open question”.

The issue came to the fore last month after Ipsa ruled Labour MP Simon Danczuk had been claiming for two children illegitimately.

Ipsa said this weekend: “We are carrying out a review of the MPs’ scheme of business costs and expenses and are likely to consult in early summer.”