Chronicle country MPs cost taxpayers more than £400,000 last year, new figures reveal.
North East Bedfordshire MP Richard Fuller's business costs for the 2020-2021 financial year were £201,413.26, while Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries' were £205,000 according to figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
Both MPs are Conservatives.
Mr Fuller's costs were up from £45,374.33 the year before, and on a par with the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.
Ms Dorries' costs were up from £181,028.69 the year before.
By comparison, Darren Henry, a fellow Tory MP for Broxtowe, had costs of £280,900 last year, while Philip Hollobone, the member for Kettering, had just £80,700.
Richard Fuller said: "The costs of running an MP’s office are mainly for staff wages and office costs in running an office in the constituency and in Westminster.
"As IPSA acknowledge in the publication of this data, many MPs increased their number of staff to meet the unprecedented increase in work as a result of the pandemic. This was also the case locally so that I could continue to help the many thousands of constituents who contact me each year seeking assistance on a very wide range of issues.
"Our office spend last year was less than the average spend of all MPs despite representing the eleventh largest constituency (out of 650) in the UK by size of population, with many more constituents than the average sized constituency.”
Richard Fuller, who was elected in December 2019, spent £177,400 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £160,800 on staff wages and £16,600 on other office expenditures.
And he spent £22,300 of his accommodation budget (of £23,000), and a further £1,700 on travel and subsistence.
His five largest types of costs were:
1) Payroll – costing £160,836.06
2) Rent – £24,226.04
3) Bought-in services – £3,300.00
4) Pooled Staffing Services – £3,049.00
5) Working From Home Allowance – £1,743.28
At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense the 59-year-old claimed was £1.38 for stationery and printing.
The Biggleswade Chronicle approached Nadine Dorries' office for comment earlier this week, but has not yet received a response.
Her five largest types of costs were:
1) Payroll – costing £169,907.33
2) Rent – £22,880.04
3) Equipment - purchase – £6,872.22
4) Pooled Staffing Services – £3,056.00
5) Working From Home Allowance – £1,157.71
Out of the 40 individual claims made by Nadine Dorries in 2020-21, the smallest one-off expense the 64-year-old claimed was £3.99 to buy equipment. Additional information said this was for "Other office equipment".
The total costs of MPs last year rose by four per cent, to £132.5 million, with almost £300,000 going on hotel claims for just 49 members.
Business costs are the essential costs incurred by MPs while carrying out their parliamentary duties including staffing, office costs and travel.
MPs cannot claim for personal costs, such as food and drink, during their normal working day, and all claims must be compliant with IPSA rules and accompanied by evidence.
IPSA’s chairman, Richard Lloyd, said compliance with the rules was at 99.7 per cent last year.
He added: “By far the largest area of spending is to pay for the salaries of MPs’ staff.
"In the last financial year MPs and their staff changed how they work to provide their constituents with a service during the pandemic.
“We enabled MPs’ staff to work from home, while the amount spent on parliamentary business travel fell to reflect different working patterns."
Kit Malthouse was the most expensive MP attending the Cabinet in 2020-21, with total costs of £244,312.
This was compared to £178,406 for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and £168,109 for Sir Keir Starmer.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "With taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing their utmost to keep their spending down.”