MPs to open the books on expenses

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Indy Politics

MPs have been asked to formally agree that their expense claims are accurate ahead of their first release into the public eye this week.

MPs have been asked to formally agree that their expense claims are accurate ahead of their first release into the public eye this week.

Members of both Houses of Parliament are braced for public anger as the full scale of their cost to the taxpayer is revealed.

The exact figures for their travel, office and accommodation costs will be laid bare as a result of freedom of information legislation.

The Fees Office, which manages expenses, wrote to all members of the Commons last month enclosing details of their past three years' claims and asking them to agree they were accurate.

Although some MPs have sought to pre-empt an inevitable wave of criticism by publishing their claims ahead of the deadline on Tuesday, most have not.

Starkly different levels between MPs in neighbouring constituencies are bound to prompt questions, as are notably high claims for travel.

Close attention is also likely to be paid to the additional cost allowance, which gives MPs up to £20,000 to set against mortgage payments for their main home - even if it is not in their constituency.

"No one wants to be the one MP who has claimed the most so we are all trying, subtly of course, to establish what a 'normal' claim might be," said one nervous MP.

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