SIX of the DUP‘s eight MP’s have had to hand over thousands of pounds to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) following the sales of their London homes. The six – Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson, Willie McCrea, David Simpson and Sammy Wilson – were the only North of Ireland MPs on a llist of 29 MPs.
Between them, the six DUP MPs had to hand over almost £144,000. In May 2010, following the MPs’ expended controversy, Ipsa banned the use of Commons expended to pay mortgage interest. As part of a transitional arrangement, it allowed MPs elected before 2010 to keep claiming money up until last August as long as they agreed to return any potential gain from property sales. When elected to Westminster, the six DUP MPs bought second homes in London rather than rent accommodation or use hotel rooms while attending parliament. Following the Westminister watchdog ruling, all six sold their properties and have now paid over sums agreed with Ipsa.
Seventy-one MPs were affected but most did not have to hand over any money to Ispa because surveyors’ reports or sale prices showed that their properties had not gained in value. East Derry MP Gregory Campbell had to pay the second highest amount of any MP – £61,403. “All DUP MPs have fully complied with the new expences system introduced at Westminster,” he said. “Through the fact that I receive no salary in my role as an assembly member that cost is saved to the public. “Through the sale of this property which has been done in full cooperation with Ipsa the public purse has benifited by a further £60,000.”An Ispa spokesman said one of the most damaging aspects of the MPs’ expences scandal was the use of taxpayers’ money to buy a second home. “That is why we said we would stop this and we have now done so,” he said. “The final stage in bringing this to an end was allowing a short transition period for MPs who were already committed to second mortgages. “But in doing this we set the condition that the taxpayer would want its share of any increse in the value of the property. “Today we are publishing that these capital gains are worth almost £500,000 to the taxpayer.” The spokesman said MPs had known this was the deal and agreed to the conditions set. The amounts that the other DUP MPs had to pay were :
- Nigel Dodds : £19,507
- Jeffrey Donaldson : £1,448
- Willie McCrea : £29,793
- David Simpson : £30,308
- Sammy Wilson : £1,448.
- Details emerge of DUP MPs’ mortgage expenses (newsletter.co.uk)
- Expenses watchdog takes action against Tory MP Stewart Jackson in £54,000 dispute over taxpayer-funded homes (independent.co.uk)
- Breaking News: MP disputes Ipsa mortgage claims (crosbyherald.co.uk)