MP claims over £150K in expenses

CALDER VALLEY MP Craig Whittaker claimed over £150,000 in expenses during the last financial year.

His total spend, which was £15,370.08 under his allocated budged, was £152,510.19.

Mr Whittaker, who pledged when elected that he would publish his expenses, spent the majority of the money -£108,454.41 - on staffing.

He said: “The new scheme is very different to that prior to May 2010 and allows for no personal gain. Every claim is scrutinised by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority then authorised.”

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 peak periods.

For accommodation rental and running costs, he spent £18,667.10 and staff travel costs were £4,480.27.

The free Grand Central rail pass for MPs to travel between their constituency and London expired in December 2011.

The rent and running costs of his Brighouse office came to £16,050.92, which included £1,264,10 for surgery room hire at venues across the Calder Valley. Within this figure are printing and stationery costs for both offices in Brighouse and London, mobile phone hire and daily newspapers for the office. House of Commons administration costs, which are purely for postage and printer paper, were £4,857.49.

Over the last 12 months Mr Whittaker’s office has dealt with over 36,500 pieces of communication. They have had over 2,000 constituents cases, 45 surgeries and three “meet your MP” evenings.