Expenses from May 2010 to April 1st 2011
The new expenses scheme is very different to that which existed prior to May 2010 and allows for no ‘personal gain’ at all. Every claim is scrutinized by IPSA and then authorised.
All expenses are regulated by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and all expenses are published on their web site in a cycle;
Thursday 7th April, 2011 – Claims processed in November and December 2010
Thursday 2nd June, 2011 – Claims processed in January and February 2011
Thursday 7th July, 2011 – Claims processed in March 2011 and any remaining claims for the year ending 2010/2011.
In light of the time delay of IPSA as illustrated above, I now attach a full breakdown of all of my expenses for the first 10 months (full financial year) with explanations on each topic. I’ve done this earlier than the anticipated IPSA announcements because I feel that July is quite a long time span from the end of the financial year. As a result, the figure published below may slightly vary from the finalized accounts.
Over the first 10 months my offices have dealt with;
- Over 38,400 pieces of communication (c24,000 emails, 9,600 letters and 4,800 telephone calls)
- 2,183 Constituents cases
- 70 Surgeries
- 4 ‘Meet Your MP’ evenings
- Visits to over 50 local Businesses
- 5 Business Breakfast Forums
- Hosted 3 x local students for work experience totaling 5 weeks
- Made over 20 school visits
- Met with over 50 local charities; social enterprises and voluntary groups
I will now outline the nine areas I have a budget for and show my actual expenditure within these areas.
- Budget £109,548
- Actual Spend £84,847.44
- £24700.56 under budget
The staffing budget is lower this year because of the staggered way in which I employed staff in the first year as a new MP. (e.g. 1 x FTE started in May 2010, another in July 2010 etc.)
I employ 2.56FTE (Full Time Equivalent) on a permanent basis with a further 2 x FTE on a temporary basis over the first year, to deal with backlogs and peak periods over the last year. (1 x FTE for 2 x months and a further 1 x FTE for 3 ½ months.)
The staffing budget is to help deal with the outcomes listed above and primarily staff the Constituency office and the Westminster Office (on a part time basis)
2) Accommodation Rental
- Budget £17,400
- Actual Spend £14,242.70
- £3157.30 under budget
3) Accommodation Running Costs
- Budget £2,500
- Actual Spend £1,455.94
- £1044.06 under budget
4) Hotel Accommodation
- No Budget but £130 per night max
- Actual Spend £1,475.11
Unlike the previous scheme, new MPs are no longer allowed to buy a house and claim their mortgage payments through expenses. (Those MPs in the House prior to May 2010 can continue to do so for two more years). Going forward from May 2010, MPs have an allowance of £1,450 per month for rent and a further £2,500 for utilities and council tax.
I have taken a lease on an apartment in the East End of London. I have also included the hotel accommodation costs incurred prior to taking the apartment in June.
5) MPs Travel Costs
- No Budget but the cost of a standard class day ticket allowed
- Actual Spend £2,143.88
6) Staff Travel
Allowance of 24 single Journeys per year per member of staff Actual Spend £1,136.35
As previously reported in the Register of Financial Interests for Members’, Grand Central Trains give each MP whose constituencies their trains run, a free travel pass for First Class travel between their constituency and London. This is estimated to save the tax payer c£4,000 per year.
Grand Central operates a limited service of 3 trains per day and sometimes it is necessary to find alternative travel, especially over the winter months when the weather reduced many services.
Staff Travel consists of induction and travel to staff the Westminster office.
7) Constituency Office Rent
- Allowance £9,472
- Actual Spend £4,271.16 (Includes £621.99 for surgery room hire at venues across the Calder Valley and £1,176.04 in rates and utilities for the Office)
- £5470.84 under budget
The constituency office address is 1st Floor, Spring Villa, 16 Church Lane, Brighouse, HD6 1AT.
The office consists of a main office and a smaller office where we have meetings and also hold surgeries for the Brighouse area.
Surgeries are held every month in a variety of places including Brighouse, Todmorden, Ripponden, Hebden Bridge and Elland. Also included here are the room hire costs for ‘Meet your MP’ evenings.
8) General Administration Costs
- Budget £10,394
- Actual Spend £8,708.88
- £1685.12 under budget
Included in these costs are all printing and stationery costs for both offices, mobile phone hire, daily newspapers for the office and all ‘setting up costs’ of the constituency office. This includes all furniture and equipment in the constituency office.
9) Bespoke Administration HOC Administration
- Budget £7,000
- Actual Spend £4,931.11
- £2068.89 under budget
This budget is purely for postage and white printer paper. At the outset, we were allowed to take pre-paid envelopes left over from the previous parliament, which I did. The actual spend primarily represents further postage to provide written replies to constituents.