Two MPs have defended their combined expense claims of nearly £60,000 for the last financial year.
West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has put in a total of £31,723.20 for business, accommodation and travel expenses during the last financial year.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss put in expenses claims of £27,353.73 under the figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) last week.
John Hayes, whose seat of South Holland and The Deepings includes Sutton Bridge, claimed a total of £49,425, including £23,757.76 on accommodation, while North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb received £41,198.99.
All four receive a basic salary of £65,738.
Mr Bellingham, who claimed a salary for his wife Emma, said he tries to keep costs down.
He said: “The most important thing to bear in mind is that it is tax payers’ money. Since the interest in expenses cropped up, I think all MPs now are very mindful of trying to keep costs down particularly given the difficult economic situation.”
Mr Bellingham claimed £19, 413.27 for the running of the constituency office along with £6,918.13 for the utility bills for his London home.
He has a house in Stockwell and on average spends five nights a week in London when Parliament is sitting.
Mr Bellingham has also received £4,308.65 for train and mileage claims. The MP says he travels standard class and drives a Volvo V50 and a Land Rover Freelander.
He is also the only MP in this area to claim a £10,000 to £14,999 salary for his wife Emma, who works as a parliamentary assistant and case worker.
Mrs Bellingham receives a salary for two days and works mainly in the London office.
He also employs two full-time assistants along with two part-time members of staff.
Mr Bellingham said his wife was doing a very good job.
He said: “It is quite right we are allowed to employ one family member. It is suitable having your wife or partner who are very close to your work and they can add a great deal of value.”
Ms Truss claimed £8,860.64 for the running of her constituency office along with £7,028.71 for accommodation.
Her claims also included £7,125.07 for travel costs and £4,339.31 under the staffing spend category.
In a statement Ms Truss said: “The expenses incurred are under the IPSA scheme to support my parliamentary and constituency work.
“This includes travel to and from London, constituency work and for Parliamentary business and utility bills on a London house.
“All the details of the claims are available on the IPSA website.’
Mr Hayes claimed £16,635 for his constituency office along with £23,757.76 for accommodation and £9,034.20 for travel.
He also claimed £2,610 for accommodation deposit.
Mr Lamb put in expense claims for £17,593.89 for constituency office running costs, £10,926 in accommodation and £4,551.40 for travel.
He also claimed £7,437.66 on the staffing spend.
nMs Truss has been selected to stand again for South West Norfolk in the next election. She was chosen by the SW Norfolk Conservative association’s executive council.