Petty cash, teas and Welsh MPs

According to the Sunday Times, sixty MPs received up to £12,000 each over four years in “no questions asked” petty cash payments from the House of Commons authorities without without having to submit a single receipt.

Two Welsh MPs are prominently feautured in this list, namely Labour's Wayne David - who claimed £12,000 over the period 2004-2008 and Hywel Williams of Plaid Cymru - who claimed £10,150 over the same period.

According to the current speaker, John Bercow,

"The money was solely for the provision of tea, coffees, soft drinks and so on within the Palace of Westminster for individuals or groups who came to petition me on some aspect of public policy".

Given that the MPs have access to highly subsidised canteen facilities at the House of Commons, then the fact that these two Welsh MPs have spent over £2500 each on teas and coffees seem strange in the extreme.

Given that the House of Commons only sits for around 30 weeks a year, that amounts to a weekly tea bill of around £80-£100 per week for both MPs during this period!

In addition, one would expect that MPs would be able to charge any expenditure within the House of Commons directly to their accounts and therefore would have noi need for petty cash?

I am sure there is perfectly rational explanation for this expenditure but as the Welsh press seems to have completely ignored this story, I doubt if we will get any further information on this issue.

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