Published: October 2, 2013
Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt defends £168,000 expenses bill

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week defended her claim for over £168,000 of expenses.

According to information published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), Tessa Munt has filed claims worth £168,727 over the past year.

She told "I run an incredibly busy office which has handled over 5,000 new cases during the last year. Mine is a very rural constituency, and I run 11 regular 'surgeries' each month in the major towns and villages, with other locations covered on a rolling schedule all through the year."

"There is a large demand for help in my patch, and in a rural area where many are dependent upon sparse public transport, I meet the need to travel to see constituents rather than requiring that they come to me."

"Naturally, I need help with this workload. £168,727 is paid by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority directly for staff salaries and the costs of running my office. This sum is not paid to, or through me. I do not employ members of my family."

She added: "The UK Parliament has a system – not dissimilar to that of any business - which allows me to reclaim the costs associated with my job, including the costs of essential business travel. During the last year, I have been reimbursed the amount of £9,693 for my travel to and from London each week, and around the constituency. I do not claim for any meals whilst at work, although I am entitled to do so."

"My salary as an MP is my sole income. I have no private means and I do not own any property. Unlike almost every other MP, I do not just provide a link on my website to published Parliamentary Expenses, but additionally, I summarise all the information on my webpage here. I also itemise every item given to me - of whatever value - so you can be sure there is complete transparency."

"Without help with legitimate business expenses, ordinary people like me would not be able to become a Member of Parliament and the House of Commons would remain the preserve of the wealthy and influential. I strongly believe our Parliament should reflect our population, not just the privileged."

"I love the work I do, and am happy to try to help where I can. If you are one of my constituents and have any queries about this, or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me."


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