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Tessa Munt's expenses claims revealed
TESSA Munt claimed more in expenses last year than in either of her previous two years as Burnham and High-bridge’s MP, new figures show.
Ms Munt, who became a LibDem MP in 2010, claimed a total of £178,420 in 2012/13 – up from £164,862 a year earlier and from £133,089 in 2010/11.
The increase is due to the increasing cost of her staff payroll.
In 2012/13, she claimed £130,198 for her staff payroll, and £5,129 for their expenses.
In 2010/11, the payroll claim was just £99,606, and there were no additional staffing expenses.
Ms Munt said: “I run an incredibly busy office which has handled over 5,000 new cases during the last year.
“Mine is a very rural constituency, and I run 11 regular ‘surgeries’ each month in the major towns and villages, with other locations covered on a rolling schedule all through the year.
“There is a large demand for help in my patch, and in a rural area where many are dependent upon sparse public transport, I meet the need to travel to see constituents rather than requiring that they come to me.
“Naturally I need help with this workload. £168,727 is paid by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority directly for staff salaries and the costs of running my office.
“This sum is not paid to, or through me. I do not employ members of my family.”
The figures show Ms Munt’s constituency office costs rose from £19,213 in 2011/12 to £20,070 in 2012/13.
However, the amount she claimed for accommodation fell from £20,363 to £13,330 over the same period.
She added: “My salary as an MP is my sole income.
“I have no private means and I do not own any property.
“Unlike almost every other MP, I do not just provide a link on my website to published Parliamentary Expenses, but additionally, I summarise all the information on my page at tessamunt.org.uk/tessas-expenses.
“I also itemise every item given to me - of whatever value - so you can be sure there is complete transparency.
“Without help with legitimate business expenses, ordinary people like me would not be able to become a Member of Parliament and the House of Commons would remain the preserve of the wealthy and influential.
“I strongly believe our Parliament should reflect our population, not just the privileged.”
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