How much did your MP spend in the last financial year?

Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster - Credit: Stefan Rousseau

West Suffolk MP and health secretary Matt Hancock made the largest claim for MPs' expenses from Suffolk and Essex during 2019/20 according to new figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

He claimed a total of £225,300. In second place in was Suffolk Coastal MP, and Work and Pensions Secretary, Dr Therese Coffey who claimed a total of £201,300.

The vast majority of these claims are for their constituency offices - and the staff they employ in them.

Most MPs have an allowance of up to £156,000 for salaries for their staff and can spend up to £35,400 on office expenses for everything from stationery to computer equipment.

Mr Hancock's total includes an extra £10,200 he was allowed to spend to cover for staff absence during the year.

The period covers the financial year up to the start of last April - before the pandemic fully hit which is likely to dramatically change the cost of running MPs' offices this year.

It also covers the general election period in December 2019 when Tom Hunt won the Ipswich seat from Sandy Martin - which pushed costs up in the seat. 

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Mr Martin received an extra £21,000 (out of a maximum permissible £54,000)) to wind up his office and pay up the contracts of his staff.

For all MPs it was the staff salaries that were the biggest single factor in the expenses. For those MPs who served the full 12 months in the House of Commons, Waveney MP Peter Aldous had the highest staff costs of almost £161,000 out of a total of almost £201,000.

The lowest staff costs were claimed by Clacton MP Giles Watling - £126,000 out of a total claim of £152,000.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous' staffing costs are registered as slightly above the limit for other MPs because of what is described as an "Uplift to the staffing budget (IPSA error)".

Nationally the current MP with the largest claim is speaker Lindsay Hoyle - but he is followed by MPs from remote areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland whose travelling expenses are more than their colleagues who live nearer London. 

The MP with the largest travelling expenses is LibDem Alastair Carmichael, who claimed £51,000 for transport - but he does represent Orkney and Shetland.


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