Work demands see rise in MP’s expenses
EXPENSES claimed by MP Oliver Heald have increased to £135,025 – but it is due to additional Parliamentary responsibility. One reason for the rise is due to an increase in staff. He has taken on a research assistant to help in his role as a member of the
EXPENSES claimed by MP Oliver Heald have increased to £135,025 - but it is due to additional Parliamentary responsibility.
One reason for the rise is due to an increase in staff.
He has taken on a research assistant to help in his role as a member of the Shadow Cabinet and has also been using temporary staff to meet demands of his constituency work.
His expenses claims is revealed in figures released by Parliament on members' allowances. The figures cover a period from April 2005 to March 2006.
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MPs are allowed to claim for such expenses as travel on Parliamentary business, staffing and office running costs and stationery.
Mr Heald, the MP for North-east Herts, claimed a total of £135,027 compared with more that £123,000 the previous year.
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The most significant increase were in staffing costs which increased from £70,764 to £88,217.
He said: "I've been given extra responsibility with a Shadow Cabinet role and there is just a lot more happening which has meant having extra staff."
Mr Heald, who is Shadow Constitutional Affairs Secretary, said his workload appeared to be "above average" which was the reason for the increase in staffing.
The running of his office cost £14,277.
He said that the expenses, as one national newspaper claimed, were not "perks".
"Everything has to be submitted and all the staff salaries are within guidelines and everything there has to be a claim submitted," he said.
Mr Heald was one of the strongest supporters of having MPs members' allowance payments in the public domain when he was a member of the House of Commons Commission which looked into the issue.
- South Cambridgeshire MP and Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley claimed £119,194.