Cost of average MP rose by 30 per cent during covid pandemic

For immediate release


TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) analysis of figures released today by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has revealed the average cost of an MP has increased by 29 per cent over the covid pandemic, from £157,747 in 2019-20 to £203,880 in 2020-21.

The total cost of MPs’ expenses was up 4.6 per cent on the previous year to £132.5 million, including claims for travel and food of over £2 million. A further £283,361 was spent as part of the MPs’ accommodation budget on hotel claims for just 49 members, an average of £5,783 each.

The member for Broxtowe, Darren Henry, is Britain’s most expensive MP, with a total cost of £280,936. The least expensive MP was Philip Hollobone, the member for Kettering, whose cost came to £80,709.

Christian Wakeford, the MP for Bury South, was in the top 10 biggest spenders for travel and food costs at £13,899.

Minister of state for crime and policing, Kit Malthouse, is the most expensive MP who attends cabinet, with a total of £244,312. This was compared to £178,406 for the prime minister Boris Johnson and £168,019 for Sir Keir Starmer.


Key findings:

  • The total spend of members of parliament was £132.5 million in the 2020-21 financial year according to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). This was a 4.6 per cent increase on the £126.7 million spent in 2019-20.

  • Britain’s most expensive MP was the member for Broxtowe, Darren Henry, with total spending of £280,936. This compares to the least expensive MP which was the member for Kettering, Philip Hollobone, spending £80,709.

  • The average cost of an MP was £203,880 in 2020-21, a 29.2 per cent increase from the average £157,747 spent in 2019-20. In 2019-20, the speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle had the largest total spend for a sitting MP at £259,057. In 2020-21, he cost the taxpayer £182,584.

  • 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.

  • Expenses for travel and subsistence claims cost the taxpayer a total of £2,052,140 in 2020-21, an average of £3,157 for each member of parliament. The total fell by 63.3 per cent during the pandemic, from the £5,584,790 spent in 2019-20.

  • A total of £283,361 was spent on hotel claims by 49 members of parliament in 2020-21, as part of the MPs’ accommodation budget.

  • For much of 2020-21 as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, members were not obliged to travel to Westminster and could participate remotely. This would impact some MPs’ spending especially with regard to travel and subsistence.




John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"It’s important MPs have the resources to do their jobs, but many taxpayers will be worried about the soaring cost of politics.

“The electorate expects politicians to stay grounded and keep costs under control, particularly given the covid pandemic saw many MPs and their staff work from home. 

“With taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing their utmost to keep their spending down.” 



TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Media contact:

Danielle Boxall
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The IPSA annual report and accounts for 2020-21 can be found here, with the full data available here.

  4. The TaxPayers’ Alliance found the average cost of MPs was £158,000 in 2019-20.
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