MP Tessa Munt defends £168,000 expenses bill
MP has this week defended her claim for over £168,000 of
to information published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards
Authority (IPSA), Tessa Munt has filed claims worth £168,727
over the past year.
She told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "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