In continuing my efforts to be transparent about my work and where your taxes are spent, I thought you might be interested to see an update of my parliamentary expenses for the financial year (April 2014 to March 2015).
I do not claim any expenses for my UK accommodation in Northants or Westminster, nor for any travel costs to and from Westminster nor for any travel costs incurred on my constituency business. I do, however, claim the cost of some travel and accommodation on overseas parliamentary business, and in my role as a Government Minister I do travel by pool car and overseas on official business, which is paid for by the relevant Government Department.
I run my office on a tight budget but with a view to making sure we can deal with the workload efficiently - I am conscious of the need to be very careful with taxpayers' money. I spent £16,615.44 on office costs (rent, printing, stationery, etc) out of an annual budget allowed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) of £23,250. My staffing costs for the year were £134,516.80 out of an annual budget of £138,600 provided by IPSA. Finally, my staff (a team of 5 full and part time staff, including my apprentice caseworker and a number of young constituents who have come for work experience in my office for a week or two at a time) have claimed £5,158.60 in travel between Westminster and South Northamptonshire in the first half of the year.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, I have written 4858 letters, and over 1,400 emails in response to enquiries from constituents. In the last year, I have spoken in 30 debates in the House of Commons which is above average amongst MPs. As a Minister I no longer ask Written Parliamentary Questions. If you would like more information on the work that I do, you can sign up for alerts at www.theyworkforyou.com.
I will continue to work hard to provide the best service and value for money that I can for South Northamptonshire.