Expenses claimed by Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti “soared by nearly 30% in 2011” compared to the previous year, according to a report in the Thornbury and Yate newspaper ‘The Gazette’.
Figures published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), set up following the expenses scandal of 2009, show that Mr Lopresti’s claims rose from £109,159 in 2010/11 to £151,908 in 2011/12.
The expenses paid are in addition to the basic MP’s salary received by Mr Lopresti, which was unchanged at £65,738.
Most of the sum was spent on constituency and staffing costs, which rose from £91,202 to £138,009 in the last financial year.
Mr Lopresti’s claims for accommodation, travel and subsistence fell from £17,956 to £13,899 over the same period.
A spokesman for Mr Lopresti told the paper that the major increase in the politician’s expenses was easily explained by the fact that 2010 was his first year as MP. During that year and over the following one, he gradually built up his staff, incurring more costs.
The MP started with one member of staff but now has three-and-a-half, the spokesperson explained, adding that “it takes time to find people who have the experience to do the job”.
Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb’s expenses also increased in the last financial year but only by approximately 6%.
The Liberal Democrat Minister for Pensions claimed slightly less than his Tory colleague with £150,913 in 2011/12. He had spent £142,671 the previous year.
Claims by another South Gloucestershire MP, Chris Skidmore (Conservative, Kingswood), also rose greatly last year – from £114,735 to £145,439.
Read more: Increase in expenses claims last year from Jack Lopresti and Steve Webb (The Gazette)
Details of all MPs’ expense claims can be researched on the IPSA website.
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