London, May 10 (ANI): British parliamentarians have voted themselves an extra 16 million pounds in expenses this year, despite mounting public anger over their money-grabbing claims.
The increase, worth an average 25,000 pounds to each MP, takes the total expenses bill to 109 million pounds, up from last year's 93 million pounds.
The revelation came, as details of embarrassing claims by dozens of MPs, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, were made public, the Daily Express reported.
Last night it emerged that the Commons has set up a "crisis phone line" to offer counselling to worried MPs who fear shameful details of their expenses are about to be made public amid fears that the huge rise in expenses, revealed yesterday in Parliamentary documents, will fuel voters' anger.
Already the 16 million pounds increase is being seen as a sign that MPs are planning to "fill their boots" ahead of next year's general election, when dozens will step down and many more will lose their seats.
It also suggests a final attempt by MPs to maximise claims before public hostility forces them to reform their discredited expenses system.
Matthew Elliott of the Taxpayers' Alliance said it was outrageous that MPs were awarding themselves a huge increase during a recession.
An overwhelming 89 per cent of those quizzed said the reputation of Parliament was tarnished by the scandal and 91 per cent called for the full, uncensored records of expenses records to be published immediately.
More than 70 per cent said MPs controversial second home allowance should be scrapped immediately.
Commons Deputy Leader Chris Bryant last night confirmed this year's staggering 17.5 per cent rise in expenses. (ANI)