MP reveals his expenses

Craig Whittaker MP
Craig Whittaker MP

CALDER Valley’s MP Craig Whittaker has revealed his expenses for the last financial year.

Mr Whittaker signed a pledge when he was elected stating that he would publish his expenses while carrying out the job.

Over the 12 months Mr Whittaker spent around £152,510.19 which is £15,370.08 under his allocated budget.

“The new scheme is very different to that which existed prior to May 2010 and allows for no ‘personal gain’. Every claim is scrutinised by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and then authorised. Every section now has an annual budget.

“All expenses are regulated by the IPSA and all expenses are published on their website in a cycle: Thursday March 1, 2012 - Claims processed in October and November 2011; Thursday May 10, 2012 - Claims processed in December 2011 and January 2012; Thursday July 12, 2012 - Claims processed in February and March 2012.

“I’ve published mine 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 may slightly vary from the finalised accounts.”

On his staffing costs he spent £108,454.41. He employs three full time workers to deal primarily with his constituency office in Brighouse and the Westminster office (on a part-time basis) and two on a temporary basis to deal with backlogs and peak periods.

Included in the cost is a ‘Pooled’ research service where much of their research is gathered for subjects their constituents contact them about.

For accommodation rental and running costs he spent £18,667.10, and his staff travel costs were £4,480.27. The free pass given to MPs travelling between their constituency and London from Grand Central Trains expired in December 2011.

The office in Brighouse and its running costs cost £16,050.92 which includes £1,264,10 for surgery room hire at venues across the Calder Valley.

Also within these costs are printing and stationery costs for both offices in Brighouse and in London, mobile phone hire, and daily newspapers for the office.

House Of Commons Administration costs which are purely for postage and white printer paper were £4,857.49.

Over the last 12 months Mr Whittaker’s office has dealt with over 36,500 pieces of communication, which includes 26,000 emails, 7,800 letters and 2,700 telephone calls.

They have had over 2,000 constituents cases, 45 surgeries and three Meet Your MP evenings.