As the MP for Sheffield Heeley, I was elected on a promise to be transparent and open about my expenses. MPs’ expenses are designed to fund the varied work we do in order to serve our constituents - from office costs to staff salaries and helping to cover the costs of living in two separate places.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority are due to publish MPs’ expense claims this Thursday, but these only extend as far as April. I believe it is important that constituents are informed as far as possible about how much of their money is being spent, what it is being spent on and are reassured that each expense claim is necessary for supporting my work as your Member of Parliament.
In the interests of full disclosure, I publish a full, itemised lists of my expenses on my website – which is updated on a regular basis and can be viewed at any time. These are complete from my election in May 2015 up until October 2016, and include items such as constituency office rent, staffing costs and travel. These costs are essential in carrying out my duties in Sheffield and in Westminster, ensuring I can assist constituents, and represent them in Parliament about the issues that matter most to them.
Parliament cover the cost of staff, both in the London office and in the constituency office. This includes their wages, plus National Insurance contributions and pension contributions. Across the two offices, I have three full-time members of staff and three part-time members of staff, including a Living Wage apprentice, employed through Sheffield College.
My staff assist me in carrying out my Parliamentary duties and being able to effectively represent my constituents in Westminster. It is important to me, and my responsibility as your MP, to be able to take up the issues that matter most to local residents – and the staff in both of my offices assist me in doing this. My staff are on hand to offer help, advice and assistance to constituents. You can read more about my constituency team here.
As my role requires me to be in Westminster for part of the week, I rent a room in a shared house in London and claim for essentials – including rent, Council Tax, gas and electricity. I do not claim for non-essentials, such as internet, television licence, food, phone bills or travel around London. I do not claim anything for my home in Sheffield.
If you are interested in further details, you can view the full list of expenses here. This page is updated regularly.