Halifax and Sowerby Bridge MP claimed back nearly £46,000 expenses in six months

Halifax's MP has claimed thousands of pounds in expenses this year.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 2:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 3:44 pm
Halifax MP Holly Lynch has claimed back £45,653.03 of expenses between December 2019 and May 2020

According to expenses submitted to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), Halifax MP Holly Lynch has claimed back £45,653.03 of expenses between December 2019 and May 2020.

In 2011 IPSA was made responsible for determining MPs’ pay and setting the level of any increase in their salary.

IPSA was set up two years earlier, largely as a response to the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009.

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The most recent data collected from IPSA revealed that Ms Lynch claimed back £18,142.40 for office costs this year.

This total includes, £762.57 on stationery and printing; £10,772.40 in rent; £125 in advertising and contact cards; and £535.94 for software and applications.

The MP also claimed back £2,938.48 for staffing, £18,060.20 for accommodation and £6,511.95 for travel.

Between 2019 and 2020, Ms Lynch has claimed back on a number of items, including: £143.75 for printer costs; and £43.78 on phone chargers.

Ms Lynch said her expenses were used to run an office to help her carry out her parliamentary duties.

She said: “Expenses suggests that MPs spend this money on themselves which is not the case.

"These costs are for staff wages and office costs like rent, stationary and postage to continue to offer support and advice for the people of Halifax through the parliamentary office.

"We make every effort to keep those costs down, but I also take my responsibility to provide those services, and be there for people, very seriously."

In April it was announced that MPs would be allowed to claim up to £10,000 for additional office costs incurred as a result of coronavirus.

The money can be used to buy additional equipment such as laptops and printers for staff having to work from home.

MPs can already claim £26,000 to cover office costs.

These extra funds - as first reported in The Times - will be available until March 2021 and come with a relaxation of the rules on evidence of purchases.

In its guidance, published in March IPSA said it was 'committed supporting MPs and their staff to carry on with their work as far as possible'.