Boston MP Mark Simmonds has insisted his £173,000 expenses bill helps him to provide a ‘good service’ to consituents, and explained his jump in staff costs for last year.
The junior foreign office minister is the most expensive MP in Lincolnshire and his £173,436.96 claims for 2012/13 include £13,005.38 office costs, £5,910.00 staffing expenses and £137,426.92 on payroll.
His bill for last year was up from £156,446.90 in 2011/12 and £114,267.11 in 2010/11.
Mr Simmonds said: “The expenses claimed for 2012/13 reflects a significant percentage on staff.
“One member of staff is away on maternity leave and I have had to employ an additional member of staff as cover.
“My staff do a tremendous job to help me do my work as a Member of Parliament and provide a good service to my constituents” The latest expenses figures also show that Mr Simmonds employs his wife Lizbeth as an office manager on £20-25k a year.