Commons to name and shame MPs over expenses

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Indy Politics

MPs who used expenses to buy luxury furnishings for their second homes are to be named and shamed.

Details of all cash claimed over the past three years under Westminster's additional costs allowances (ACA) are to be published.

The secret so-called "John Lewis list" – based on prices at the upmarket store – revealed MPs could claim £22,000 a year for furnishings. It allowed them £10,000 for a kitchen; £2,000 for furniture; £750 for a television; £100 for a coffee machine and even £50 for a paper shredder.

The publication of the list, under the Freedom of Information Act, infuriated MPs who protested yesterday that it further tarnished their reputation. But it also emerged yesterday that the Commons authorities are planning to disclose details of claims back to 2004.

That will further embarrass MPs who bought expensive fittings to enhance the value of their homes.

The ACA now looks certain to be abolished, with MPs demanding higher salaries or bigger daily allowances to compensate.

Martin Salter, the Labour MP for Reading West, suggested a backbencher's pay – currently £61,820 a year – could rise to £100,000. He said: "You'll be hard-pressed to find a chief executive who's on less. We're certainly [paid] less than head teachers and many deputy head teachers."

Gordon Brown called yesterday for greater openness over MPs' expenses. He said: "The more open, the more transparent and the more we provide information to the public about how public money is spent the better it is for all of us."

David Cameron, the Tory leader, said MPs had to be happy to justify their expenses in public.

Sir Stuart Bell, a senior Labour MP on the Speaker's review of pay and expenses, admitted the spending would horrify voters.

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