How much did your MP cost since they were last elected?

Figures from RateyourMP.com
Figures from RateyourMP.com

This graphic shows the cost of Northern Ireland’s 18 MPs during the last Parliament.

The most up to date data covers the period to November 2014, so excludes the final six months of claims.

The graph, which has been produced for the News Letter by the independent website RateyourMP.com, shows that Ian Paisley Jr was the most expensive MP in the last Parliament, costing more than £1 million. Excluding Sinn Fein MPs who do not take their seats (forefiting their salaries, though they get expenses), the DUP’s Gregory Campbell was the least expensive MP.

The website has also worked out how much MPs’ cost per vote in the House of Commons, one way of calculating their value for money.

Those figures show that SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell was the most expensive, while his party colleague Mark Durkan was best value for money.

The figures include MPs’ basic salaries of £67,060 per year and allowances (the only Northern Ireland MP to receive an allowance was the Rev William McCrea who got just over £10,000 a year for his membership of the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs). The bulk of the figures, however, relate to Parliamentary expenses.

Some of those payments – such as mortgage payments, hotel bills and travel costs – relate to MPs’ personal work.

But much of the money goes to renting their constituency offices, employing staff, stationery and even the cost of MPs’ constituency newsletters which some politicians distribute around their areas.

The three MPs who are also MLAs – Gregory Campbell, Alasdair McDonnell and Sammy Wilson – are not able to claim any salary from Stormont. The three MPs who ‘double-job’ between Westminster and Stormont – a practice which will finally be outlawed next year – can now only claim £8,655 per year from Stormont for office expenses.

Cost per time each MP showed up to vote in the House of Commons

Alasdair McDonnell – £3,141

Ian Paisley Jr - £2,768

Sammy Wilson – £2,467

Margaret Ritchie – £2,231

Gregory Campbell – £2,198

Jeffery Donaldson – £2,166

Sylvia Hermon – £2,065

William McCrea – £1,912

David Simpson – £1,658

Jim Shannon – £1,540

Nigel Dodds – £1,533

Naomi Long – £1,461

Mark Durkan – £1,142 (the only NI MP beneath the House of Commons average)