Lincoln MP’s year of questions cost £7.5k

One year ago Lincoln answered the question of who it wants as its MP with the Conservative Karl McCartney. Since then he has been asking his own questions to government departments.

MPs can put forward written or oral questions to ministers. These questions glean data or information from departments. They also cost money. Written questions cost on average £145. Oral questions cost an average of £425.

McCartney has asked 52 written questions that were answered in his first year — average for MPs — at a cost of around £7,540.

The Lincolnite analysed his first year of written questions, sourcing data from They Work For You, and found he asked most questions to the Transport minister — a total of 22.

Transport is a big issue for Lincoln residents. There are calls for frequent direct Lincoln-London rail services, as well as the much-anticipated eastern bypass to ease traffic congestion in the city.

The Lincolnite also looked at how many questions specifically mentioned Lincoln. Out of the 52, 11 mentioned Lincoln.

However, it should be noted that though a question may not mention Lincoln explicitly, it could still be about an issue that directly affects the city.

Seven of McCartney’s questions to the Transport Minister were on the subject of rail travel concessions for Network Rail employees and their families.

Three of these asked the same question. On December 20, January 10, and March 4 McCartney asked the Transport minister for information on how many current and former Network Rail employees receive concessionary or free rail travel.

Theresa Villiers, Minister for Rail and Aviation, replied each time advising McCartney that her department does not hold the information.

McCartney also asked the Treasury on February 15 about the qualifications and experience of Financial Services Authority (FSA) staff.

Mark Hoban, the Treasury’s Financial Secretary, replied saying the FSA is independent and “determines the appropriate qualification levels for its staff”.

However McCartney asked the Treasury a further question on staff qualifications at the FSA on February 28 and was given the same answer as before.

— Karl McCartney was unable to comment by the time of publishing