£87m annual expenses bill for MPs - iPods, TVs and fish tanks

The Sunday Times reports that members of parliament are using taxpayer-funded expense accounts to buy iPods, plasma screen televisions and even, in one case, a fish tank.

The row over MPs' £87m annual expenses bill began last month when MPs backed new legislation to exclude themselves from the Freedom of Information Act. The Sunday Times says that MPs are currently blocking attempts from the information commissioner to force them to disclose full details of their taxpayer-funded expenses.

Mark Hunter, a Liberal Democrat MP opposed to the new legislation, said: “It is public money and it should be accounted for. I don’t believe MPs ought to be exempt under freedom of information and I thought the vote was a shameful day. This is precisely the sort of thing that gives MPs a bad name.”

Fish tanks and iPods ... what MPs claim on their allowances (Sunday Times, 3 June 2007)