Transparency.

My Expenses.

All MPs get the same standard expenses to cover the cost of doing the job. That’s because we’re expected to be in London Monday to Thursday every week and because we need an office and some staff to help us get through all the work. And we need to buy some paper for the printer!

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, or IPSA, deals with this as an independent body separate from Parliament.

As an MP, IPSA gives me the following expenses (2017/18):

Staff Budget – £150,900

The staffing budget is largely made up of payroll costs, which are paid directly to the staff I employ to assist me in carrying out my duties in Westminster and in Bristol North West. The budget covers all payroll costs (salaries, employers’ national insurance contributions and pension contributions). It also covers pooled staffing services, staff training and expenses for volunteers. Staffing costs account for approximately three quarters of the total spend by an MP on average.

I employ four people in Bristol (one is part time) and one in London.

Office Budget – £24,150

The office costs budget allows me to buy everything I need to run my office and constituency surgeries – this includes costs such as rent, business rates, telephone bills, equipment and stationery.

I rent a serviced office for my staff in Westbury-on-Trym, which costs around £17,000 per year. The additional budget is used to pay for the use of community buildings for surgeries, and for things like the telephone bill and stationary for the office.

London Budget – £22,760

The London budget covers the cost of my accommodation in London. This is because I have to be in London for four days a week.

I rent a flat in London which costs £1,755 per month plus council tax of £130 per month. I pay for the utility bills from my own salary.

Bristol Budget – £0

I use my salary as an MP to pay for my living costs at home in Bristol.

IT Budget – £7,200

The IT budget is provided to MPs in their first year of office to buy their IT equipment for themselves and their staff.

I have used this budget in my first year in office to purchase laptops, keyboards/mice and screens for my staff and I, in addition to two combined printer/scanner/photocopier machines.

Start-up Budget – £6,000

The start-up budget is provided to MPs in their first year of office, covering the costs incurred in starting up a new office.

I used my start up budget to pay for my new website (£3,000), for additional IT for my staff which I couldn’t afford using my IT Budget and office start-up costs such as Contents Insurance.

In addition to the above budgets, my travel costs are covered for: (i) travel to and from Westminster; and (ii) within Bristol North West whilst doing my job as an MP. As these costs vary depending on when I travel, and how often I travel, these costs are published on a quarterly basis by IPSA.

My Expense Records.

You can view my expenses by visiting the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s (IPSA’s) website: theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs/your-mp/darren-jones/ This information is periodically updated by IPSA following verification and scrutiny.

My Pay.

IPSA has decided that I should be paid £74,962 a year as your MP, and they put 10% of my salary into my pension pot (so £7,496 a year).

In addition to that, I will get some further pay from my own company (Office of Darren Jones Limited) where I will do a small amount of work each year with a law firm called Kemp Little LLP. At the time of writing, I have earnt £0, but as soon as I do I will start reporting it both to the House of Commons and to you.

I understand that second jobs are controversial. But I have always said that politics is a contribution, not a career. My day job for that past few years has been as a lawyer, and I will continue to do that when I’m no longer an MP in the future. To be able to go back to my day job after my time as an MP I need to keep my “practising certificate” with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which means that I need to carry on doing some legal work and training whilst I’m an MP.

I will also use this company for other grants and expenses that I incur for political work that can’t be funded through Parliament (normally because it’s party political). So my company accounts each year will include that too.

In addition to the above, I often get asked to complete surveys or to speak at events where I’ll be paid a fixed rate (often between £50 and £150). When I do this, I put this money into a separate account to pay for the printing costs of newsletters and annual reports to you.

Again, this is reported to Parliament and will be included in my annual report in full each year.