Banff and Buchan MP had business costs of £242,688 last year

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid cost the taxpayer just under £243,000 in business costs last year.

By Patrick Jack, Data Reporter
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 6:55 am
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 1:38 pm
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid's biggest business cost last year was staff wages.

Figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show the Conservative MP's total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year were £242,688.60.

The MP's costs were up from £235,427.04 the year before, and above 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.

Mr Duguid, who was elected in June 2017, spent £199,200 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £168,300 on staff wages and £30,800 on other office expenditures.

He spent £30,400 of his accommodation budget (of £33,900), and a further £13,100 on travel and subsistence.

The total costs of MPs last year rose by four per cent, to £132.5 million.

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 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 IPSA figures reveal the 190 individual claims made by Mr Duguid in 2020-21. His five largest types of costs were: Payroll – costing £168,339.50; Rent – £42,759.91; Air travel – £9,867.39; Bought-in services – £5,389.90; and Pooled Staffing Services – £3,047.00.

His smallest one-off expense was £3.74 for stationery and printing.

He also spent £1,558.41 on a working from home allowance.

Mr Duguid said: "My travel expenses are likely to be higher than other MPs by virtue of my constituency being one of the furthest away from the UK parliament.

"Parliamentary expenses are incurred so constituency MPs can rent and staff an office and fulfil their duty to help constituents, which accounts for the vast majority of costs.

"Some of the spend is mandated by IPSA itself and is not optional. Covid has also seen an increase in costs year on year.

"Like all other MPs, my expenses are fully transparent and in the public domain, overseen by the authority, in line with the rules and within allowances set independently by IPSA."