Hemel Hempstead MP had costs of £169,000 last year

While Gagan Mohindra cost around £162,000

By Patrick Jack, Data Reporter
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 10:04 am
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 10:06 am

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning cost the taxpayer around £169,000 last year, new figures reveal.

Figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show the Conservative MP's total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year were £168,765.48.

Hemel Today approached his office for a comment earlier this week but was told no comment would be made.

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Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning PIC: Parliament.uk

The MP's costs were up from £160,881.58 the year before, but well below the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.

By comparison, Darren Henry, a fellow Tory MP for Broxtowe, had costs of £280,900 last year, while Philip Hollobone, the member for Kettering, had just £80,700.

Mike Penning, who was elected in May 2005, spent £168,300 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £151,400 on staff wages and £16,900 on other office expenditures.

And he incurred no accommodation costs during this time, but spent £500 on travel and subsistence.

South West Hertfordshire MP Gagan Mohindra PIC: Parliament.uk

The IPSA figures also reveal the 66 individual claims made by Mike Penning in 2020-21, with the most expensive single claim being for staff payroll – £141,684.85.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense the 64-year-old claimed was £13.05 for car mileage.

MPs' costs are usually broken down into dozens of categories, with staff pay almost always the largest expense.

Mike Penning's five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £141,684.85

2) Bought-in services – £9,633.00

3) Rent – £5,550.00

4) Website hosting and design – £3,180.00

5) Landline phone & internet - rental & usage – £2,881.65

He also spent £207.67 on a working from home allowance.

South West Hertfordshire

Meanwhile, South West Hertfordshire MP Gagan Mohindra cost the taxpayer around £162,000 last year.

The MP's costs were up from £13,835.04 the year before, but well below the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.

Hemel Today approached his office for a comment earlier this week.

Gagan Mohindra, who was elected in December 2019, spent £162,100 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £138,700 on staff wages and £23,400 on other office expenditures.

And he incurred no accommodation costs during this time, but spent £200 on travel and subsistence.

The IPSA figures also reveal the 60 individual claims made by Gagan Mohindra in 2020-21, with the most expensive single claim being for staff payroll – £138,313.07.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense he claimed was £4.50 for car mileage.

Gagan Mohindra's five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £138,313.07

2) Equipment - purchase – £6,566.36

3) Pooled Staffing Services – £3,050.00

4) Training - staff – £2,295.61

5) Stationery & printing – £1,921.54

He also spent £1,196.64 on a working from home allowance.

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The total costs of MPs last year rose by 4 per cent, to £132.5 million, with almost £300,000 going on hotel claims for just 49 members.

Business costs are the essential costs incurred by MPs while carrying out their parliamentary duties including staffing, office costs and travel.

MPs cannot claim for personal costs, such as food and drink, during their normal working day, and all claims must be compliant with IPSA rules and accompanied by evidence.

IPSA’s chairman, Richard Lloyd, said compliance with the rules was at 99.7 per cent last year.

He added: “By far the largest area of spending is to pay for the salaries of MPs’ staff.

"In the last financial year MPs and their staff changed how they work to provide their constituents with a service during the pandemic.

“We enabled MPs’ staff to work from home, while the amount spent on parliamentary business travel fell to reflect different working patterns."

The average cost of an MP was up 29 per cent, from £158,103, in 2019-20.

Kit Malthouse was the most expensive MP attending the Cabinet in 2020-21, with total costs of £244,312.

This was compared to £178,406 for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and £168,109 for Sir Keir Starmer.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It’s important MPs have the resources to do their jobs, but many taxpayers will be worried about the soaring cost of politics.

“The electorate expects politicians to stay grounded and keep costs under control, particularly given the Covid pandemic saw many MPs and their staff work from home.

“With taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing their utmost to keep their spending down.”