In my effort to be as transparent as possible about my work and how your money is spent, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on my parliamentary expenses for the last financial year (April 2017 to March 2018).
I do not claim any expenses for my accommodation in South Northamptonshire or Westminster, nor for any travel costs to and from Westminster nor for any travel costs incurred on my constituency business. I do, however, make use of a pool car from the Government Car Service in my role as a Government Minister, which is paid for by the relevant Government Department.
I run my office on a tight budget but with a view to making sure my office can deal with the workload efficiently - I am conscious of the need to be very careful with taxpayers' money. I spent £20,496,27 on office costs (including rent, printing, stationery, etc) out of an annual budget allowed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) of £24,850. My staffing costs for the year were £15,041.16 out of an annual budget of £150,900 provided by IPSA. Finally, my staff (a team of 6 full and part time staff, including my constituency Apprentice Caseworker and a student on placement in Westminster) claimed £4,017.18 in travel between Westminster and South Northamptonshire.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, I have written over 8,000 emails and letters in response to enquiries from over 6,400 constituents. As Leader of the House, I am unable to speak in debated in Parliament, but regularly make statements and take questions from colleagues on issues around the Government’s legislative programme, as well as for an hour each Thursday at ‘Business 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.