BARNSLEY’S four MPs collectively claimed almost £200,000 in expenses during a 12-month period, it has been revealed.
MPs Dan Jarvis, Stephanie Peacock, Miriam Cates and John Healey claimed a total of £194,056 last year – a 14 per cent rise from the previous year’s £169,375.
The basic annual salary of a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons is £84,144, but MPs are able to claim allowances to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff and maintaining a constituency residence.
Throughout 2021/22, Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis claimed a total of £52,822.97.
A large majority of the money – £25,307 – was spent on accommodation, whilst more than £22,000 was spent on office costs, and the rest was spent on MP and staff travel.
Dan told the Chronicle: “I welcome the regular publication of these figures – the public have a right to know what taxpayers’ money is being spent on.
“What’s been claimed by my office in the last year has been spent on office rent, staff salaries, equipment and training to ensure we can provide the best possible service to my constituents who contact me for help, often about very complex and serious issues.
“My small, but brilliant team work around the clock to support residents in Barnsley, many of whom have nowhere else to turn.”
Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock claimed the least amount of expenses of the town’s four MPs, with her claims totalling £41,484.96.
The largest chunk of her money was used to cover office costs including rent, advertising, training and cleaning services.
More than £12,000 went on accommodation, while a further £1,044 was spent on staffing.
She said: “MPs have budgets available to them so we can support our constituents and run our offices to the highest possible standard.
“This enables us to fulfil our responsibility in supporting local residents.
“It is right that MPs’ expenses are fully transparent, with oversight from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.”
It was also revealed that John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, claimed a total of £50,985.02.
Almost £20,000 of that was spent on accommodation, with a further £18,871.68 being spent on office costs.
He said: “Constituents deserve the best – I want to provide the best possible support and service which is why I run an office that’s open to the public so people can always get hold of me, I employ good staff to work with me and I travel home to the constituency every week.
“There’s rightly a system for making sure every penny of public money is properly receipted and independently checked before payment.”
The town’s only Conservative MP Miriam Cates, who represents Penistone and Stocksbridge, claimed a total of £48,763.68.
The majority of this – £27,011.64 – was spent on accommodation.
More than £15,000 went towards office costs – and the rest of the expenses covered the cost of dependent, MP and staff travel.
She told the Chronicle: "These office costs enable me to serve my constituents across the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency.
“IPSA provides funding to maintain offices and employ staff in both Westminster and South Yorkshire, and to cover the costs associated with performing my duties and supporting my constituents."