MP defends £170k claim

John Hayes MP defends his expenses claim.
John Hayes MP defends his expenses claim.

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes is the second most “costly” parliamentarian in Lincolnshire after claiming almost £170,000 expenses in the 2012-13 year.

His expenses went up by more than £9,500 from the previous year to £169,474.50.

Boston and Skegness MP Mark Simmonds had the highest claim, £173,436.96.

Mr Hayes, Mr Simmonds and Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles (£141,468.29) are among seven Lincolnshire MPs claiming more than Prime Minister David Cameron (£121,872.97), Chancellor George Osborne (£120,898.07) and Foreign Secretary William Hague (£92,273.15).

Only one county MP claims less – Sleaford’s Stephen Phillips (£91,818.20).

The bulk of Mr Hayes’s expenses go on maintaining two offices – one in London and one in Spalding.

His payroll accounts for £120,048.65 and office costs swallow up £16,635.69.

Mr Hayes claimed £23,757.76 for accommodation and £9,032.40 for travel and subsistence.

He says comparing MPs with those who hold the great offices of state is not like for like as the Prime Minister, for example, has civil servants working for him at Number 10.

“Some of the people who work in Number 10 go back to the days of Margaret Thatcher,” he said.

Mr Hayes said his staff deal with at least 500 items of correspondence every week and thousands of telephone calls.

“I have one office in London and one in Spalding and that’s about providing a first class service to my constituents,” he said.

“I think anyone who has dealt with my offices will 
know that the people who work there work extremely hard.”

Mr Hayes says the expenses involved are a reflection of his determination to “provide the service that people want” rather than running everything from Westminster.

He said: “People know I work hard and do my best and clearly you have to have an appropriate organisation to support the work you do.”

Mr Hayes said his year on year costs have been “pretty steady”.