The parliamentary watchdog, previously criticised by the Prime Minister for being overly ‘bureaucratic’ has said it cannot reveal the details of an MP’s staffing costs.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Agency (IPSA) – the body in charge of monitoring MPs’ expenses – says it will only break down the costs of a representative’s wage bill if their staff earn more than £50,000.
This means that anyone earning under that figure will have the finer details of their salary masked as well as the hours they’re contracted for. They are instead published on the IPSA website in brackets of £5,000.
Mid Bedfordshire MP, Nadine Dorries (pictured), employs daughter Philippa Dorries as an office manager earning up to £39,999 when working full time. BoS understands that 27-year-old Miss Dorries – who also studies law at BPP Law School in London in addition to her role – informs IPSA when she’s at college and then switches to a pro-rata basis on the hours she works.
However the standards agency say it cannot reveal how much Philippa Dorries costs the taxpayer while splitting her duties between work and studies.
A spokesman for IPSA said: “We are as transparent as possible.
“The reason we don’t reveal wages brackets under £50,000 is because it is the same across all of Government. I am aware of the situation of Miss Dorries and we have tried to give a Government breakdown of costs.”
When BoS contacted Nadine, she said to contact her daughter directly, but Philippa Dorries didn’t comment.
Bedford Borough councillor for Stewartby and Elstow, Tim Hill said: “All MPs costs should be made available for members of the public to see.
“I believe in transparency.”