MPs' expenses are close to the level from before major scandal

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Indy Politics

The total bill for MPs' expenses leapt by one-quarter to almost £90m last year, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) disclosed yesterday.

The money was spent on second homes, staff, travel and office costs – including the purchase of 50 iPads – and is now only slightly lower than before the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009.

But Ipsa insisted the rate of claims had remained "stable", explaining that the £71m outlay in 2010-11 was misleading as that parliamentary year was cut short because of the last general election.

Altogether, the 650 MPs were handed £89.4m in 2011-12.

In 2008-09 the total expenses bill was £95.4m and in 2009-10 – the year before the scale of expenses abuse emerged – the figure fell to £90.7m. Only seven of the 35,315 claims submitted were not approved. Six, totalling £4.95, were car mileage claims by Chris Huhne, the former Environment Secretary.