Cariboo Chilcotin MLA expenses released last week

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA expenses were released last week.

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Cariboo North Independent MLA Bob Simpson’s  travel expenses for the period between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2012 were disclosed last week.

Barnett’s total was $27,732.

Her capital city allowance was $6,000 for accommodation and $1,554 per diem, in-constituency travel costs were $5,790, general travel $9,098 and per diem $699, accompanying person travel for five trips was $4,389 and speaker approved travel, $201.

Simpson’s total was $25,511. His capital allowance was $6,000 and $1,554 per diem, in-constituency travel costs were $3,563, general travel was $11,561 with a $879 per diem, and accompanying travel costs for three trips was $1,955. Simpson had no speaker approved travel costs.

The province’s 85 MLAs began disclosing their travel expenses on Oct. 31, posting total amounts charged on their government-issued credit cards but not the details of where they drove, flew or dined.

Routine expenses include the “capital city allowance,” for which most MLAs who live outside Greater Victoria claim $1,000 a month without receipts.

With receipts, out-of-town MLAs can claim up to $19,000 a year for rent, mortgage or hotel accommodation while in Victoria on legislature business.

MLAs are also eligible for $61 a day for meals while in Victoria on legislature business.

MLA expenses are to be posted quarterly from now on at www.leg.bc.ca/mla/remuneration/travel_expenses.htm where the first reports are posted.

Cabinet minister travel expenses are reported separately on the B.C. government’s “open government” website initiated by Premier Christy Clark.

They receive similar accommodation and meal payments to other MLAs, but they are paid by their ministries and do not show up on the new disclosures.

– With files from Tom Fletcher and Aaron Orlando.

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