Northamptonshire MPs’ expenses claims published

Andy Sawford, Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone
Andy Sawford, Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone

The bill for MPs’ expenses rose by more than seven per cent last year to £98 million, according to new figures.

MPs from the Telegraph’s region had a wide variation in expenses claims with Kettering MP Philip Hollobone claiming £8,789.34, Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford claiming £23,671.71 and Wellingborough MP Peter Bone claiming £55,232.12.

The accounts also showed that Mr Bone paid his wife Jeanette a salary of £45,000 to £49,999 as his office manager.

On top of the expenses claims were claims for staffing payroll which totalled £26,435.68 for Mr Sawford and £125,107.85 for Mr Bone. Mr Hollobone made no claim in this area.

In total, the sum paid out by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) for personal costs and running offices was up from £91.5 million in 2011-12.

Spending is now higher than in the run-up to the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009.

Most of the increase was down to larger staffing budgets - but the cost of MPs’ personal expenses also rose from £23.5 million in 2011-12 to £23.8 million last year.

The details emerged in the latest annual information released by the parliamentary watchdog.

Largest claims in 2012/13 were from Ian Paisley (DUP, North Antrim £100,204), Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dem, Orkney and Shetland, £82,878), David Morris (Con, Morecambe and Lunesdale, £75,902) and Debbie Abrahams (Lab, Oldham East and Saddleworth, £74,615).

One MP - Tory Zac Goldsmith of Richmond Park - made no claim, while business minister Michael Fallon (Con, Sevenoaks) received just £38.74 and Adam Afriyie (Con, Windsor) £604.20.

TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: “Of course MPs should get reasonable office and staff support to assist them in their important work representing constituents at Westminster, but these costs must be kept under control.

“Taxpayers want to know that they are getting value for their money and they will have serious concerns about there being a hike in the overall cost of running MPs’ offices over the last 12 months.

“While there have been many sensible changes to the expenses regime since the 2009 scandal, this kind of year-on-year rise is totally unsustainable and Ipsa has to explain to those of us footing the bill how that has been allowed to happen.

“Unfortunately, Ipsa’s ability to safeguard taxpayers’ money has already been called into question, given its own administrative costs and its recent decision to decamp to a plush hotel to hatch its plan to increase MPs’ pay.

“What remains essential is that all details of MPs’ expenses and office costs are easily accessible so that taxpayers can judge for themselves how their representatives are spending their cash and hold them to account as appropriate.”

Breakdown of expenses

Andy Sawford

Constituency Office Spend: £8,945.61

Accommodation Spend: £8,057.95

TravelSubSpend: £2,068.15

Staffing Spend: £1,600

Startup Spend: £3,000

Staffing payroll: £26,435.68

Total: £50,107.39

Peter Bone

Constituency Office Spend: £19,673.81

Accommodation Spend: £17,607.38

TravelSubSpend: £11,127.78

Staffing Spend: £6,823.15

Staffing payroll: £125,107.85

Total Spend: £180,339.97

Philip Hollobone

Constituency Office Spend: £4,680.34

Accommodation Spend: £0

TravelSubSpend: £4,109

Staffing Spend: £0

Staffing payroll: £0

Total Spend: £8,789.34