BARNSLEY MPs claimed almost £170,000 in expenses between them during a 12-month period, it has been revealed.
The basic annual salary of a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons is £81,932, but MPs are able to claim allowances to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff and maintaining a constituency residence.
Dan Jarvis, Barnsley Central’s Labour MP, claimed a total of £57,901.63 for the year from April 1, 2019, which was made up of £19,206.49 for office costs, £27,473.96 for accommodation and £11,221.18 for travel.
He said: “My brilliant team work tirelessly to support our vulnerable residents who often have nowhere else to turn.
“Since March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that my office is receiving unprecedented levels of correspondence, and the shift to remote working has incurred some additional costs in order to support staff in their roles.”
John Healey, who has served as Wentworth and Dearne’s Labour MP since 1997, claimed £63,297.28.
The figure, when broken down, includes £24,483.58 for office costs, £1,676.20 for staffing, £22,812.95 for accommodation, £14,048.55 for travel and £276 on miscellaneous expenses.
He added: “I want to give the best possible support and service to constituents which is why I run an office that’s open to the public so people can always get hold of me when they need me, I employ good staff to work with me and I travel home to the constituency every week.
“This has been even more important during the Covid crisis, when last year the volume of requests for help or information trebled.”
Stephanie Peacock, Barnsley East’s Labour MP, claimed £48,176.09 during the year.
Ms Peacock claimed £21,268.69 for office costs, £3,029 for staffing, £15,405.67 for accommodation and £8,472.73 for travel.
The total claimed by the three reached £169,375.
Figures for Barnsley’s other MP - Conservative Miriam Cates of Penistone and Stocksbridge - have not been released as she was newly-elected.
Stephanie said: “MPs have budgets to enable them to carry out their duties and run their constituency and parliamentary offices supporting local residents.
“Expenses are rightly closely controlled and overseen by the Independent Parliament Standards Authority and are published on a regular basis so the public can see how taxpayers’ money is being spent.”
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MPs’ annual expenses revealed
Author: Josh Timlin
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