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Ups and downs of SNP MP expenses for Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey's Drew Hendry and Ross, Skye and Lochaber's Ian Blackford

By Staff Reporter

The SNP's Ian Blackford and Drew Hendry.
The SNP's Ian Blackford and Drew Hendry.

INVERNESS MP Drew Hendry’s staffing costs jumped from £107,572 in 2015-16 to £150,555 in 2017-18 according to figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

The former Highland Council leader was elected to represent the Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency in May 2015, perhaps explaining why the cost climbed as he only served part of that year.

His office, however, would not comment when contacted by the Inverness Courier.

The SNP transport spokesman’s office costs in 2017-18 were £23,949 – compared with £21,363 in 2015-16 – while his accommodation costs are up from £22,056 to £25,807.

Travelling expenses also showed an increase over the two-year period, up from £26,036 to £34,823.

Figures for the latest financial year, 2018-19, which will not be finalised until November, show office costs of £20,688, accommodation costs of £11,188, travel at £15,270 and staffing costs of £11,322.

An IPSA spokeswoman explained that it updates MPs’ costs every two months and some MPs pay for their office accommodation up front while others pay in quarterly instalments.

Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Ian Blackford’s expenses for 2018-19 stand at £29,994 for office costs, £11,009 for staffing, £19,605 for accommodation and £24,051 for travel.

The 2018-19 figures do not yet contain payroll figures but for accommodation and travel Mr Blackford’s costs are down on 2017-18, from £22,941 and £31,742 respectively.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the MPs’ expenses scandal that led to IPSA’s creation.

To see details on all MPs’ expenses, click here.

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