Given that we're at that time of year again, after the end of the financial year, when MPs expenses are published and everyone emails me to complain about the figures, I think it's important to be open and explain how this works and where the money goes.
Not one penny from my expenses goes in to my pocket. As you can see from the chart below the majority of it goes on the wages of my staff, followed by the costs for running an office, staying down in London and travel. Without these expenses, only millionaires would be able to afford to stand for Parliament.
Following the expenses scandal, over 10 years ago now, very tight and restrictive rules were quite rightly introduced to make sure that these expenses are solely for ensuring we have the ability to our job, they are not a wage top up. I do not again money through expenses, in fact I lose money because there are various things I need for my job that I cannot claim. Also, contrary to popular conspiracy, I cannot claim for food and drink, and I cannot claim for costs related to my home.
I claimed £157k for 2018, of which £104k is staff wages. This overall figure is roughly average for MPs. Variation is often because my travel costs are far lower than colleagues who travel from Scotland or N. Ireland, whilst MPs with London constituencies obviously don't need as much travel or accommodation.
I'm always more than happy to answer questions on this or any other subject.