MPs’ expenses claims are reduced

Lisa Nandy MP
Lisa Nandy MP

TWO of the borough’s trio of MPs reduced their total expenses and business costs bill, new watchdog figures have revealed.

Lisa Nandy’s total costs dropped by almost £4k compared with the previous year, with Yvonne Fovargue’s falling by around £1k.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham’s total increased by around £3.5k due to a rise in staffing costs, the figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) reveal.

Ms Fovargue, MP for Makerfield, managed to cut travel costs from £7k to around £3k and was £3k below the £20k allowance for accommodation costs.

She told the Evening Post: “I welcome today’s publication by IPSA. I continue to monitor closely the costs associated with my role as an MP.

“The majority of costs associated with today’s publication relate to direct staffing costs and the running of my local constituency office.

“Of course, my role requires me to be in London for part of the week and I commute by rail and rent a one bedroom flat in London.”

Wigan MP Ms Nandy’s travel costs increased from £7k to £10k.

She told the Evening Post: “It is right that all office and staffing costs associated with my work as Wigan’s MP are published online by Ipsa so that my constituents can see for themselves how much it costs each year to represent them. I always minimise costs as far as possible, by booking train tickets well in advance, for example.”

Mr Burnham, who will today learn whether he has become the new Labour party leader, was not available for comment.

The totals for expenses and business costs - with the previous year in brackets - are: Lisa Nandy £180,778 (184,053), Yvonne Fovargue £181,600 (182,561) and Andy Burnham £184,980 (181,180).

The majority of each claim is on staffing costs with MPs allowed to claim a maximum of £138,600, with £23,250 permitted for office costs.

Ipsa chief executive Marcial Boo said: “Our regular publications include every single penny claimed by MPs, so that taxpayers and voters can see for themselves how their money is spent and gain assurance that Ipsa is scrutinising MPs’ expenditure on their behalf.

“As the regulator of the public funds that go to MPs, IPSA ensures that taxpayers’ money is used transparently, and that MPs are appropriately resourced to carry out their parliamentary functions.”