This really, really, really has to stop. Someone is going to get hurt.
In 2007 Martin used public money to employ lawyers in challenging negative press stories; media law firm Carter-Ruck was engaged for three months at a cost of more than £20,000. The use of public money was criticised by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker as a "very expensive" way to issue press releases; and by the Taxpayers' Alliance. Martin was also criticised at the same time for trying to block the publication of details of MPs' £5m-a-year travel expenses under the Freedom of Information Act.
On 24 February 2008, John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, was asked by the TaxPayers' Alliance to investigate whether Martin had abused parliamentary expenses and allowances. Lyon is obliged to examine all such complaints although the Commissioner could rule that the complaint is unfounded. This followed a week in which Martin's spokesman, the veteran Whitehall communications chief Mike Granatt, resigned after admitting that he had unwittingly misled the Mail on Sunday over more than £4,000 in taxi expenses incurred by the Speaker's wife, Mary Martin. Granatt blamed unnamed officials, but not the Speaker, for falsely informing him that the expenses were legitimate because Martin's wife had been accompanied by an official on shopping trips to buy food for receptions. It turned out that she had in fact been accompanied by her housekeeper, and that catering for such receptions is the responsibility of the parliamentary caterers.
On 29 March 2008, The Daily Telegraph revealed that refurbishment of Michael Martin's official residence, Speaker's House, has cost the taxpayer £1.7m over 7 years. The house is located inside the Palace of Westminster.
In December 2008, during a week described by the Telegraph as an "another bad one for Parliament's reputation", Martin won the right to a taxpayer-funded, index-linked pension worth close to £1.4 million consisting of half his MP's salary and half his Speaker's salary, inflation-adjusted until his death.
On 19 April 2009, an editorial in The Observer newspaper renewed calls for his retirement as Speaker, arguing "the Speaker and Mrs Martin have been plundering the public purse for an almost grotesque array of personal perks and foreign junkets".
On 14 May 2009, The Daily Telegraph reported that Martin had claimed £1,400 for using chauffeur-driven cars that included visits to Celtic Park, home of Celtic Football Club, and his local Job Centre.