MPs in Birmingham and the Black Country claimed thousands of pounds for decorating, repairs and furniture before a crackdown on allowances this year.
Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield) claimed £2,288 for a new bathroom window while Sion Simon (Lab Erdington) claimed £1,850 to renovate a new house, including rewiring the kitchen and tiling a bathroom.
Rules introduced this July mean MPs can no longer claim for decorations, repairs or furniture.
But newly-published receipts showing what politicians claimed from April 2008 to July 2009 reveal how much MPs claimed in the period leading up to the change.
They included Black Country MP Sylvia Heal (Lab Rowley Regis and Halesowen), a deputy speaker of the House of Commons, who claimed more than £3,500 on decorating and maintaining her constituency home.
In August 2008 she claimed £610 for a new dining room carpet while in September 2008 she claimed £828 to repair porch tiles and repair a damaged window.
In October 2008 she claimed £1046.44 to decorate her dining room, hall, stairs, landing and rear bedroom. In November 2008 she claimed £417 to tile her kitchen floor install new plumbing, as well as £244 to paint her dining room and porch.
Then in January 2009 she claimed £456 to wallpaper a bedroom, and in February 2009 she claimed £145 for wallpapering a lounge.
She said: “I had a lot of work done that year simply because it was the first time in several years that I had any work done at all. My claims have always been half as much as the rules allowed, or less.”
Cabinet Minister Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill), the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, claimed £379.74 for a kingsize bed and mattress last December - and tried to claim another £50.92 for an airbed a month later, but this was rejected by Commons officials. Writing on his blog, he said: “This was an error – I quite understand why it wasn’t paid. I’ve paid for them, so my three children don’t have to sleep on the floor when they visit me in London.”
Mr Mitchell, a member of David Cameron’s Shadow Cabinet, spent £2,604.75 on repairs to windows, including £2,288 for the manufacture and installation of a replacement sash window in the bathroom of his Sutton Coldfield home.
He said: “This was not an upgrade, it was just a replacement for the existing window which had become rotten. It was within the spirit and the letter of the rules”.
Mr Simon, a Minister in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, claimed £1,850 in May 2008 for “building works” at his second home in London, including rewiring the kitchen, retiling much of the bathroom and fixing broken drawers in the bedroom.
The work was authorised under the old rules, but would not be allowed under the new rules which came in this year.
Black Country MP Adrian Bailey (Lab West Bromwich West) claimed £1,678.00 for a three piece suite from Marks and Spencer in February this year.
Some MPs took steps to make sure they responded to the public mood following a wave of anger about Parliamentary expenses.
Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) stopped claiming a subsidy on a mortgage and instead moved into rented accommodation. It meant that she will no longer benefit from a taxpayer-subsidised mortgage for a property she owns - but the cost to the public actually increased, as she was claiming £470 per month for the mortgage while rent on her new home is £750.
She said: “The public mood seems to be that MPs should simply rent somewhere and this is what the rules will eventually say, so I decided to just get on with it.”
MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) claimed very little for accommodation, as he stayed away from his main home in Birmingham for just seven nights. He said: “If I am in the Commons I usually drive down from Birmingham the morning and drive back home in the evening.”
MPs’ second home expenses for the 2008/9 financial year:
Ian Austin (Lab Dudley North) £23,262.11
Adrian Bailey (Lab West Bromwich West) £23,310.90
Richard Burden (Lab Northfield) £15,705.93
Lorely Burt (Lib Dem Solihull) £21,306.84
Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) £22,963.27
Michael Fabricant (Con Lichfield) £16,298.52
Bruce George (Lab Walsall South) £8,762.47
Roger Godsiff (Lab Sparkbrook & Small Heath) £24,006
Sylvia Heal (Lab Halesown & Rowley Regis) £10,543.85
John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) £17,535.99
Brian Jenkins (Lab Tamworth) £8,634.33
Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak) £11,188.69
Julie Kirkbride (Con Bromsgrove) £23,432.16
Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) £4,025
Steve McCabe (Lab Hall Green) £6,211.44
Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield) £21,800.22
Ian Pearson (Lab Dudley South) £23,887.25
Richard Shepherd (Con Aldridge Brownhills) £6,827.31
Clare Short (Ind Ladywood) £10,818.56
Sion Simon (Lab Erdington) £23,819.91
Jacqui Smith (Lab Redditch) £19,581.87
John Spellar (Lab Warley) £10,460.49
Caroline Spelman (Con Meriden) £7,523.87
Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) £19,279.79
Lynda Waltho (Lab Stourbridge) £24,006
David Winnick (Lab Walsall North) £10,044.82