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The two Welsh MPs are among the highest expense claimants in the House of Commons

25 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Chris Elmore and Virginia Crosbie

Two Welsh MPs are among the highest expense claimants in the House of Commons, newly released data reveals.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) published the annual expense claims of MPs on Thursday, detailing the total amount spent on staffing, office costs, accommodation, travel and other activities during the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

An analysis by Nation.Cymru found that Labour MP for Ogmore, Chris Elmore, and Conservative MP for Ynys Môn, Virginia Crosbie, had the 11th and 12th highest overall expenses bill during that period.

Elmore claimed £253,596 while Crosbie’s costs were £253,395, putting them in the top two per cent of the UK Parliament’s 650 MPs when it comes to expenses. The Conservative MP for Broxtowe claimed the highest amount, at £280,936. On average, Welsh MPs claimed £211, 256.

Staffing costs make up 77% of all MPs’ costs and Elmore is no exception. His position as Wales’s most expensive MP comes after he increased spending on staff by £37,000 compared to the previous financial year. The amount Elmore claimed for accommodation also increased as he started the year paying £1,733-a-month and ended it paying £2,240-a-month.

Nation.Cymru has contacted Chris Elmore for comment.

‘Complexity’

Crosbie meanwhile had the fourth highest expense claim for office costs of any MP at £41,155, with the most expensive item being £6,302 spent on postage and couriers.  It was also revealed earlier this month that the Ynys Môn MP was among the ten MPs who claimed most for utilities like heating and electricity.

Crosbie, who was sixth on the list with £2,634.12 claimed in expenses for utilities, told the Daily Mail: “I was living and working on Anglesey during the lockdown in 2020 with my husband and three children. My home is an old farmhouse. I stopped claiming for utilities at the beginning of the 2021 financial year.” Crosbie last week voted against a Labour motion calling on the UK Government to cut the rate of VAT for household energy bills.

The Welsh MP with the lowest expenses claims were Jonathan Edwards, the independent member for Carmarthen East and Dinefewr, who claimed £157,519 and Christina Rees, the Labour MP for Neath, who spent £165,848.

Overall, MPs spent £19.2 million more on staffing, office costs, accommodation and security than during the previous financial year, with IPSA chair Richard Lloyd explaining that staffing budgets were increased to meet “a huge increase in the volume and complexity of casework” due to Covid. However the pandemic also saw the amount spent by MPs on travel cut by more than half.


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