The four MPs who get paid for a home that is neither in their constituency nor near Parliament

MPs have two places of work – their constituency and the House of Commons. Where those two places are far apart it’s reasonable for them to receive financial support so that they can spend their time split between living in two places rather than being able to live in just the one. That’s not to say the current rules on this are perfect by any means, but the principle – ‘if work forces you to be in two places, it helps pay for it’ – is a reasonable one, and indeed one that is widely followed in non-political jobs too.

However, it’s a very different matter if an MP is receiving money for a second home when one of their homes is neither located conveniently for their constituency nor for Parliament.

Duncan Borrowman’s blog takes up the story:

‘The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered four cases where MPs are receiving up to £24,000-a-year in “second home allowance” despite one of their two homes being nowhere near either Westminster or their constituency.’

The picture built is one of a “belt of shame” across South East London Tories.

Surprise, surprise, Bob Neill is one of the MPs who features, as you can read in Duncan’s full piece. Ed Davey MP’s take on the matter is:

To use the ACA [Additional Costs Allowance] in this way is incredible. It may be within the law, but it’s like people doing dodgy tax deals which are just about legal but go against the spirit of the tax legislation. MPs should not just play within the letter of the law but also within the spirit of the law. The people opposing reform of this system are bringing democracy and Parliament into disrepute.

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5 Comments

  • Trap a Tory 14th Jul '08 - 7:27pm

    Jacqui Lait said “I live in my constituency during the week and there’s nothing wrong with paying for someone to be able to do their job properly”. If she lives in the Constituency during the week (ie more than half of the week), that makes it her main residence and therefore not eligible as a second home

  • Hywel Morgan 14th Jul '08 - 8:01pm

    The other three are Harry Cohen, Labour (Leyton & Wanstead), Anne Main, Tory (St Albans) and Jacqui Lait, Tory (Beckenham) – according to the Telegraph article linked to in the piece on Duncan’s blog

  • David White 4th Aug '08 - 11:45pm

    Who are they?

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