Ex­penses re­vealed

Ex-MP’s fi­nal claim

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Strat­ton Wil­liams

For­mer Ruther­glen MP Tom Greatrex claimed just over £157,000 in ex­penses in his last year in of­fice.

The ousted Labour mem­ber for Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West clawed back £ 125,000 in staff costs.

Mr Greatrex charged £16,539 in of­fice costs and £ 9500 for ac­com­mo­da­tion. His travel bill amounted to £6226.

Mr Greatrex’s ex­penses were at the lower end of those claimed by MPs in sur­round­ing con­stituen­cies.

His over­all bill was al­most £37,000 less than near neigh­bour Michael McCann, for­mer Labour mem­ber for East Kil­bride, Strathaven and Les­ma­hagow.

Mr McCann charged al­most dou­ble for ac­com­mo­da­tion ex­penses – £18,958 and £23,000 for travel – more than three times that charged by Mr Greatrex.

Mr Greatrex said: “I was al­ways aware that it was public money that was pay­ing the ex­penses.

“I tried to make sure I did ev­ery­thing as eco­nom­i­cally as pos­si­ble.

“I trav­elled by train most of the time be­cause I felt I could achieve more on the jour­ney – and if it was booked some time in ad­vance I could get a re­duc­tion in the fare.”

Mr Greatrex also says that most MPs will work hard to make sure their ex­penses are kept to a min­i­mum.

“MPs get some flak for ex­penses be­cause the public see this fairly large sum of money and as­sume it goes to the mem­ber per­son­ally.

“But it doesn’t. Most of the costs are for staff to run of­fices and ac­com­mo­da­tion while MPs are away from home.”

He thinks it is bet­ter now that the fig­ures are bro­ken down when they are re­leased by the In­de­pen­dent Par­lia­men­tary Stan­dards Au­thor­ity.

“I think that helps the public to un­der­stand that the money doesn’t go into their MP’s pocket,” he added.

Mr Greatrex served as Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton MP for five years be­fore los­ing out to the SNP’s Mar­garet Ferrier in May’s gen­eral elec­tion.

Claim For­mer MP Tom Greatrex served the area for five years

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