Ottaway milked MPs’ pay system for £250,000 last year

Conservative MP Richard Ottaway has hit the parliamentary jackpot again.

According to the latest official figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, or IPSA, in the financial year to May 2014, Tricky Dicky cost the taxpayer the grand total of:

£250,540.28

Show me the money: Tricky Dicky Ottaway makes the likes of Mike Fisher appear to be just an amateur when it comes to coining it

Nice little earner: Tricky Dicky Ottaway makes the likes of Mike Fisher appear to be just an amateur when it comes to coining it

And of that amount, the Ottaway household managed to bank around £100,000 in their own wages.

For all the outrage and scandal of #WadGate, with Croydon Tories trying to claim back-dated allowances, Mike Fisher’s £11,000 is small change compared to Tricky Dicky when it comes to snouting in the trough.

Ottaway is less than nine months away from being detached from his access to the public purse, when he stands down as MP for Croydon South after 23 years.

A peerage in the dissolution honours next spring will, of course, ensure that Ottaway continues to be allowed to dip into the public purse in his semi-retirement.

Ottaway is easily the most expensive of Croydon’s three MPs. The £250,000 cost of servicing the expert expenses grabber is made up of salaries for him and his staff in his constituency and Westminster offices, plus his own expenses and office costs.

Yet even when given a massive chunk of public money, it is never enough for Ottaway.

Despite being allocated a generous £145,205 to staff his parliamentary and constituency offices, Ottaway still managed to go over budget. He also spent an additional £18,511.47 on office expenses.

Some of that money goes straight into the coffers of the Croydon Conservative Association. In a party-funding device commonly used by politicians of all hues, Ottaway spends around £6,000 each year to pay “rent” to the Croydon Tories for his use of their Purley offices. This is all entirely legitimate, of course.

Who might Dicky and Nicky Ottaway be backing for the new Croydon Tory leader?

Who might Dicky and Nicky Ottaway, the £100,000 per year parliamentary couple, be backing for the new Croydon Tory leader?

Ottaway’s own parliamentary salary came to £84,883.92, since on top of his backbencher’s £66,396 wage, he was also paid £3,759.96 in a London living allowance – although he has chosen to have his principal home outside his constituency, and outside London – and he then received £14,727.96 for chairing the foreign affairs select committee, another nice little earner.

Despite the employment of family members being exposed as one of the worst abuses in the MPs’ expenses scandal five years ago, Ottaway has managed to keep Nicky, his wife, on the public payroll as a “senior secretary”, and paid up to £15,000, doubtless a significant help towards the housekeeping for their stately pile in Bletchingley. How do they manage to makes ends meet?

In contrast, Croydon Central Tory MP Gavin Barwell (£70,155.96 salary and London weighting), spent £10,000 less than Ottaway to staff his offices last year. His gobby fac totum must come cheap. Barwell also spent £20,820.37 on his office expenses.

The Croydon North MP, Labour’s Steve Reed OBE, like Barwell, is on a backbencher’s salary. He spent £141,695.81 on his office staff and £24,759.41 on office expenses.

All amounts paid to Ottaway and our other MPs can be found on the IPSA website here.

In the past year, Ottaway, despite his venal use of the parliamentary expenses system, has been rewarded by being made a member of the Privy Council and given a knighthood. That was one of the baubles dispensed by Prime Minister David Cameron in December which the Daily Mail – the Daily Mail no less! – described as an example of cronyism and low-level corruption. That must have filled Sir Tricky Dicky and Lady Nicky with such pride.

Her Majesty’s Daily Torygraph chose to highlight the apparent contradiction in rewarding MPs who had already been caught with their hands in the parliamentary expenses cookie jar: “Three MPs criticised over expenses given knighthoods”. One of those happens to be our Croydon South MP.

Ottaway ensuring he collects the biggest possible wedge is nothing new. In 2009, Ottaway was exposed as the only Croydon MP to be claiming for a second home – despite his representing a London constituency within a short commute to parliament. Ottaway lives in a country pile in Bletchingley in Surrey, nine miles south of his constituency. That means nine miles further away from his workplace at Westminster than the people he is supposed to represent. And we were paying for that privilege.

Ottaway is also a man who thought nothing of submitting expenses claims to get the public to pay £59.99 on light bulbs, £50 for repairing a tractor tyre and £48 for modifying a scarifier. His country house and garden in Surrey clearly requires a lot of maintenance at our expense. He even claimed for hiring of a chimney sweep.

Let’s hope he and Nicky are well prepared for the hardships of life on a pension…


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell, Richard Ottaway MP, Steve Reed MP and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ottaway milked MPs’ pay system for £250,000 last year

  1. Pingback: Richard Ottaway: Filthy Rich Scrounging Bastard | Trade Onion by Jon Bigger

  2. davidcallam says:

    And the denizens of the Westminster bubble wonder why so many Scots are grasping the chance of independence eagerly and energetically!

  3. derekthrower says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    No doubt all the business contacts he has made on the back of the tax payer will now feather this venal opportunist’s nest.

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