Doncaster's MPs cost taxpayer £536,000 last year, new expenses figures reveal

Doncaster’s three MPs cost the taxpayer a combined total of more than half a million pounds last year, new expenses figures have revealed.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 2:03 pm

Doncaster Central’s Dame Rosie Winterton, Don Valley’s Nick Fletcher and Ed Miliband, who represents Doncaster North all claimed more than £170,000 the figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show.

The highest total went to ex-Labour leader Mr Miliband whose bill was £186,000.

Conservative Mr Fletcher, who was elected at the 2019 General Election, was next with a total of £177,000 while Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie, who represents Labour saw her costs come to £173,000.

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Doncaster MPs Dame Rosie Winteron (Lab), Nick Fletcher (Con) and Ed Miliband (Lab) claimed more than £500,000 between them last year.

Dame Rosie’s costs were up from £154,715.7 the year before, but well below the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.

By comparison, Darren Henry, a Conservative MP for Broxtowe, had costs of £280,900 last year, while Philip Hollobone, the member for Kettering, had just £80,700.

Dame Rosie, who was elected in May 1997, spent £163,100 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £137,800 on staff wages and £25,300 on other office expenditures.

And she spent £2,900 of her accommodation budget (of £5,400), and a further £6,700 on travel and subsistence.

Mr Fletcher’s costs were up from £37,333.23 the year before.

He spent £162,700 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £142,700 on staff wages and £20,100 on other office expenditures.

And he spent all of his accommodation budget (£10,100), and a further £4,000 on travel and subsistence.

Meanwhile, Mr Milliband’s costs were up slightly from £184,877.38 the year before.

The Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero, who was elected in May 2005, spent £174,800 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £154,800 on staff wages and £20,000 on other office expenditures.

And he spent £9,900 of his accommodation budget (of £27,000), and a further £1,100 on travel and subsistence.

The total costs of MPs last year rose by 4%, to £132.5 million, with almost £300,000 going on hotel claims for just 49 members.

Business costs are the essential costs incurred by MPs while carrying out their parliamentary duties including staffing, office costs and travel.

MPs cannot claim for personal costs, such as food and drink, during their normal working day, and all claims must be compliant with IPSA rules and accompanied by evidence.

IPSA’s chairman, Richard Lloyd, said compliance with the rules was at 99.7% last year.

He added: “By far the largest area of spending is to pay for the salaries of MPs’ staff.

"In the last financial year MPs and their staff changed how they work to provide their constituents with a service during the pandemic.

“We enabled MPs’ staff to work from home, while the amount spent on parliamentary business travel fell to reflect different working patterns."

The IPSA figures also reveal the individual claims made by MPs in 2020-21, with the most expensive single claim by Dame Rosie being for staff payroll – £134,213.53.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense the 63-year-old claimed was 31p for stationery and printing.

183 individual claims were made by Mr Fletcher in 2020-21, with the most expensive single claim being for staff payroll – £139,454.45.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense he claimed was £1.63 for stationery and printing.

Mr Miliband made 86 individual claims, with the most expensive single claim being for staff payroll – £154,793.36.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense the 52-year-old claimed was £1.00 for ctm rail booking fee.

The average cost of an MP was up 29%, from £158,103, in 2019-20.

Kit Malthouse was the most expensive MP attending the Cabinet in 2020-21, with total costs of £244,312.

This was compared to £178,406 for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and £168,109 for Sir Keir Starmer.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It’s important MPs have the resources to do their jobs, but many taxpayers will be worried about the soaring cost of politics.

“The electorate expects politicians to stay grounded and keep costs under control, particularly given the Covid pandemic saw many MPs and their staff work from home.

“With taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing their utmost to keep their spending down.”

MPs' costs are usually broken down into dozens of categories, with staff pay almost always the largest expense.

Rosie Winterton's five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £134,213.53

2) Service charge & ground Rent – £9,928.53

3) Rail – £4,024.25

4) Pooled Staffing Services – £3,600.00

5) Stationery & printing – £2,379.01

She also spent £1,246.74 on a working from home allowance.

Nick Fletcher's five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £139,454.45

2) Hotel - London – £10,524.15

3) Rent – £6,664.92

4) Stationery & printing – £5,033.12

5) Rail – £3,173.14

He also spent £1,340.01 on a working from home allowance.

Ed Miliband's five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £154,793.36

2) Rent – £14,675.00

3) Stationery & printing – £3,736.47

4) Pooled Staffing Services – £3,600.00

5) Working From Home Allowance – £1,675.28