MPs’ £450k bill

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WIGAN’S three MPs claimed more than £450,000 in expenses last year, new House of Commons figures reveal.

Business costs and expenses are paid on top of their salaries and are now published annually.

Makerfield representative Yvonne Fovargue claimed the highest amount of £159,046.23 with Wigan’s Lisa Nandy 152,312.90 and Leigh’s Andy Burnham £147,440.89.

The majority of the expenses was paid for the costs of running their constituency offices with each member claiming more than £110,000 for their staff payroll.

Ms Fovargue, said: “I want to provide my constituents with an open and accessible office and with over 2,000 cases a year it is essential that they have access to a staffed office. As a new MP, I continue to monitor closely the costs associated with fulfilling my duties.”

Ms Nandy, said: “Since I was elected in 2010 the costs of running an office, staff salaries and expenses in connection with my Parliamentary duties have been published annually. This was a commitment that I made during the election to provide my constituents with information about the use of public funds to provide a service to Wigan constituents.”

The Shadow Health Secretary, Mr Burnham, said: “I want to offer my constituents the best possible help, advice and assistance and that’s why I ensure that my office is located in the heart of Leigh and is accessible with trained and dedicated staff.

Mrs Fovargue claimed more than £7,700 in travel to and from London while parliament is sitting, Ms Nandy more than £3,400 and Mr Burnham more than £5,635. Accommodation costs when staying in the capital were more than £14,400, £19,500 and £17,900 respectively.

The figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) revealed that the three Labour representatives receive a basic annual salary of £65,738. The watchdog was set up after the 2009 expenses scandal to tighten the regulation of payments.