NEW figures have been released showing how much our MPs cost the taxpayer in the past year.

Data from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show MPs’ total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year.

These are essential costs incurred while carrying out their parliamentary duties, including staffing, office costs and travel.

And the figures reveal Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has a Government salary of £141,000, charged £2 for parking.

The average amount an MP cost the taxpayer came in at £203,880.

Colchester’s MP Will Quince’s total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year were £183,470.55, up from £157,122.23 the year before.

Mr Quince spent £167,400 on office running costs, including £148,700 on staff wages and £18,700 on other office expenditures.

Commenting on the figures, he said: “My team and I moved office to larger premises in part due to Covid and social distancing.

“I re-structured my small hard-working team, including taking on additional caseworker resource, to respond to the significant increase in casework from residents.”

He also spent £13,100 of his accommodation budget of £22,800 and a further £3,000 on travel and subsistence.

Clacton MP Giles Watling had business costs of £187,496.95, which is up from £152,395.77 the year before.

Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin cost taxpayers about £212,000, up from £170,151.78 the year before.

He spent £187,500 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £172,000 on staff wages and £15,500 on other office expenditures.

The figures also reveal the 172 individual claims made by Sir Bernard with the most expensive single claim being for staff payroll at £172,038.64.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense he claimed was £1.87 for stationery and printing.

Sir Bernard said:"The increase in my business costs last year is largely due to my hiring new staff to respond to the major increases in requests for help, questions and views I received from constituents at such a difficult time throughout the pandemic. 

"I’m glad that my team have been able to help record numbers of constituents, small businesses and supported the vaccine roll-out for individuals having difficulties getting their jabs.

"As the pandemic drags on, the requests I receive from people in need of support continues to increase, and my team and I will continue to do all we can to help where possible."

Additional figures also show Witham MP Priti Patel was above the £200,000 mark.

The Home Secretary cost the taxpayer £203,000, and the smallest one-off expense she claimed was £2 for parking.

The total costs of MPs last year rose by four per cent to £132.5million.

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.

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

MPs' costs are usually broken down into dozens of categories, with staff pay almost always the largest expense.

Bernard Jenkin's five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £172,038.64

2) Rent – £22,920.00

3) Pooled Staffing Services – £5,047.00

4) Bought-in services – £4,250.00

5) Equipment - purchase – £1,890.45

He also spent £1,041.63 on a working from home allowance.