MPs spent more than $123M in office, travel, hospitality expenses
Published Tuesday, October 1, 2013 4:30PM EDT
Members of Parliament spent more than $123 million in office, travel, hospitality and other expenses in the last fiscal year, according to the annual House of Commons Members’ Expenditures Report.
The report covered MPs’ expenditures for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2012 and ending March 31, 2013.
According to the report, MPs spent:
- $67 million in employees’ salaries and service contracts.
- $25 million in travel expenses.
- $15 million in office expenses.
- $6 million in printing expenses.
- $5 million in advertising costs.
- $1.6 million in hospitality and events.
Each MP’s office budget was $284,700 for the fiscal year covered by the report, but that figure rises with top-ups for provisions such as representing a densely populated riding (between $8,700 and $52,140) or a riding of 500 square kilometres or more (between $4,810 and $52,900).
MPs may spend up to 3 per cent of their office budget on hospitality expenses, which include meals at non-partisan events and gifts for visiting dignitaries, and up to 10 per cent of their office budget on advertising, which includes communication with constituents. Office budgets also allow for printing “ten percenters,” flyers that go out to homeowners outside a MP’s riding, as well as expenses for their constituency offices.
MPs were also allowed to spend $26,238 on travel, in addition to some travel, food and accommodation costs when on parliamentary business.
The top spender was Conservative MP Steven Fletcher at $612,259.38. However, he receives more than $259,000 in extra funds in the “employees’ salaries and service contracts” category in order to accommodate his needs. Fletcher is a quadriplegic who uses a specialized wheelchair.
Rounding out the top five spenders are:
- NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair - $550,830.72
- Conservative MP Blake Richards - $547,510.07
- NDP MP Niki Ashton - $528,637.83
- Liberal MP Hedy Fry - $516,429.74.
The MPs who spent the least are:
- Bloc Quebecois MP Claude Patry -$269,908
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper - $284,681
- Conservative MP Roxanne James - $303,249
- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird - $304,923
- Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti - $305,524