Frequently asked questions
Following constituency boundary changes in May 2010, I represent the new constituency of Thornbury and Yate, which is to the north of Bristol.
The area covers most of the old seat of Northavon, including:
- Acton Turville
- Chipping Sodbury
- Coalpit Heath
- Frampton Cotterell
- Hawkesbury Upton
- Iron Acton
- Little Sodbury
If you are not sure whether you live in the Thornbury and Yate constituency, check the constituency locator on the Parliament website. Simply type your postcode into the locator and it will tell you whether I am your MP.
Salary: From 1 April 2010, an MP's salary is £65,738. Whilst I hold ministerial office I receive an additional £33,000 in respect of additional responsibilities.
Pension: Since the 1997 election, MPs were required to contribute 6% of their salaries towards the Parliamentary pension scheme. Recently, new rules were drawn up to improve MPs' pensions and increase their contributions to 9%. I voted against this measure, and remain on the 6% level.
Allowances: Click here for a summary of MPs' allowances and the expenses I have claimed. The allowances system has changed since May 2010 with the establishment of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
I have often spoken out in Parliament about issues that affect the constituency.
Please note that such debates are called by opposition and backbench MPs, so since becoming a Minister, I have been unable to call debates in the same way.
However, I can write personally to other Ministers in the Government, to bring to their attention issues of concern that are raised by local constituents. If you have a concern that you would like me to assist with, please email me at email@example.com.
You can read about some of my local campaigns here, and I publish an annual report to keep local people updated with what I have been doing in the area in the last 12 months.
I also aim to raise many important issues in the local newspapers, and you can click here to read some of my recent press releases.
I am the Minister of State for Pensions in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government, working in the Department for Work and Pensions and speaking in Parliament on pensions issues.
Before becoming a Minister I was spokesman on work and pensions issues for the Liberal Democrats, from January 2009 to May 2010. My brief included most aspects of pensions, unemployment, social security benefits, the Child Support Agency and tax credits issues.
In 2008 I spoke for the party on climate change, environment and energy issues. During 2007 I headed up the manifesto writing group for the next General Election. From May 2005 to December 2006, I was the party's spokesman on health issues, and from 1999 to 2005, I was work and pensions spokesman.