Calder Valley MP claimed back nearly £60,000 expenses in six months

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

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 2:37 pm
Updated Friday, 30th October 2020, 12:12 pm
Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker

According to expenses submitted to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), Craig Whittaker has claimed back £56,939.50 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 Mr Whittaker claimed back £26,936.20 for office costs this year.

This total includes, £6,013.37 on stationery and printing; £4,380 in rent; £5,885,41 in advertising and contact cards; and £1,500 for software and applications.

The MP also claimed back £3,142 for staffing, £17,961.15 for accommodation and £8,900.15 for travel.

Between 2019 and 2020, Mr Whittaker has claimed back on a number of items, including: £1,368 on surgery adverts on bus boards; and £731.37 on Facebook adverts.

A spokeswoman from Mr Whittaker's office said: "The IPSA website provides a comprehensive breakdown of the expenses which is self-explanatory."

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'.