I have always treated taxpayer money with as much care as if it were my own and I have only ever claimed for Parliamentary expenses that are absolutely vital to my functions as an MP in assisting the constituents of Northampton North.
Overall, between 2010 (when I was first elected) and 2018 (the most up to date data) I have saved the taxpayer over £380,000 by underspending my Parliamentary expenses budgets.
The following figures are a reminder of my expenses claims.
(My expenses for the last financial year (2018-19) are due to be published by the parliamentary authorities on Thursday, 21st November 2019 – although it is not clear whether this date will be delayed due to the election.)
I have always underspent on all costs, every year I was an MP.
Members of Parliament are allowed, under the rules, to claim parliamentary expenses for things such as travel, staff salaries, office costs and accommodation.
Travel: Despite there not being a limit on the sum an MP can claim, I have never claimed anything at all in travel costs. I drive regularly between London and Northampton and have never claimed a penny for petrol, or any other train, wear and tear or travel outlay. I met all those costs from my salary.
Staffing costs: MPs can claim around £150,000 a year to hire staff. Again I have always underspent this budget. In the 2017-2018 financial year I underspent my budget by over £30,000. Over the years I have saved over £240,000 on staffing costs.
Office costs: MPs can claim around £24,000 a year for office costs. Since becoming an MP in May 2010 I saved just over £139,000 in office costs. For example, in the most up to date year (2017-2018) I only spent £3,263.59 of the £24,150 budget- resulting in an underspend that year alone of over £20,000.
Accommodation: MPs are permitted a budget – in line with market rate- for a one-bedroom flat in Westminster – to allow a non-London MP to rent a London flat so that Parliamentary duties can be carried out. The budget for this is normally around £22,000 and I do normally claim close to the full amount with savings normally in the hundreds of pounds each year – although in the 2017-2018 financial year I saved £2,000. Over the years I have saved over £4,000 for the taxpayer.
You can confirm all the above information from an independent source via the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) website on https://www.theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs/your-mp/michael-ellis/.