I am grateful to one of our number bringing this matter to my attention – you know who you are.
It had completely passed me by, the downside I guess of getting most of your news off the net, the ‘little’ stories pass you by. Did you know that our illustrious MPs are entitled to claim up to £400 per month ‘Food Allowance’ without having to produce a single receipt. I am familiar with the concept of allowances for which no receipt is required as per the police Refreshment Allowance which, I presume, still doesn’t require a receipt in order to claim it. It does however come with conditions, such as having to have worked a certain number of hours overtime in order to qualify, and the assertion that you had actually purchased an extra meal in some form or another. The clue really is in the word extra.
Does an MP really incur an extra £400 per month buying their food and groceries in the smoke? I know London prices are a bit potty some times, but we’re definitely not talking about feeding his/her entire extended family, just themselves.
I know that there are regional variations in the prices of all sorts of things, but £400 extra to buy your sandwiches, baked beans, bread, butter etc is just ludicrous surely.
If I had to away from home I had to use the money for our monthly shop and budget accordingly with Mrs Angry. Surely people in a position such as MPs are able to do basic budgeting for family food etc.
It is even claimed in the press that some MPs were submitting claims for meals on dates when the House was not even sitting. Correct? I don’t think so.
Even if 50% of MPs stopped claiming this allowance, at an average of £400:00 pcm a saving of 1.5 million pounds per annum would be made or 6 million over 4 yrs. This would also show that not just the public were sharing the pain and cutting their cloth but those that make the laws that affect us all. MPs are claiming expenses for what essentially normal daily costs and therefore MPs should be in the same bracket as everybody else.
650 MPs in a normal Parliament. At £400 per month this equals £260,000 PER MONTH being claimed on food (if they all claim the maximum). £3,120,000 per annum. Not an excessively large number in the corporate world, but we’re in a period of Austerity, Dave has told us so. We’re all in it together, Dave told us that too,
How many Police Officers, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Firefighters would not have to lose their jobs if the government stopped this travesty and put the money back into the kitty.
It’s the little things like this that demonstrate that politicians of all colours don’t really have our interests at heart or they would do something about it.
The best example of this that I can find that is current is this;
A TORY MP has claimed more than £8,000 to stay in London hotels in the past year, despite owning a home in the capital AND receiving taxpayers’ cash to rent another. David Amess has hit the taxpayer with 23 separate expenses claims for hotels since July 2011.
He owns a flat in East London which he rents out, while official records say he lives at an address in South West London. And his constituency home in Essex is only 41 miles from Westminster, in glorious Southend. In 2009, it was revealed Amess had claimed more than £20,000 a year for a second home in London and the maximum MPs’ food allowance of £400 a month for four years.
I must stress that this MP has done nothing wrong by making these claims, it is clear, however, that the ‘system’ is wrong and these loopholes need to be closed. If the records show that he LIVES in SW London with a constituency home only 40 miles away does he really NEED to claim to £400 per month Food Allowance? Does he really NEED to claim for hotel accommodation? I would at least hope that claims for overnight hotel accommodation require a receipt from the stated establishment.
Just one more thing to make me angry