Strike-Affected MPs Will Be Able to Claim Taxis on Expenses

The strikes are on, causing misery for millions of ordinary people, though thankfully the taxpayer’s pockets are once again being dipped into on behalf of MPs. Yesterday a letter went out from IPSA, the expenses body, noting “some concern” amongst MPs about the impact of the planned rail strikes, though reassuring them they have nothing to be scared of:

“where commuting to an office location is unavoidable, and you incur significant costs as a result (e.g. for a long taxi journey), you may consider applying for contingency funding.”

It’s also good news for MPs’ staffers, who have only just lost their work-from-home expenses left over from the pandemic. The same letter promises that, where “a staff member is required to travel to their normal place of work but is unable to return home, or it would be unreasonable to return home and then attempt to travel in the following day, we will consider requests for hotel costs”. We’re all in this together…

mdi-timer 21 June 2022 @ 13:30 21 Jun 2022 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Parliamentary Staffers Finally Lose Work from Home Covid Allowance

After more than two years, IPSA have finally ended the tax-free £26-per month Covid homeworking allowance for parliamentary staff. In new guidance released this week, the body announced the final payment would be issued in July:

Now that Covid-related restrictions have been lifted, and there is no general work-from-home requirement in place, we have determined it is the right time to end payment of the allowance for the majority of staff members.

The final payment for staff on office-based contracts (including hybrid contracts) will be in July 2022. Staff members who are on home-based contracts will remain eligible for the allowance beyond July.

If every staffer claimed the allowance, which was introduced to cover their home telephone usage, internet, electricity and gas, it would have cost the taxpayer £1.1 million a year. For some reason it took a three-month review for IPSA to conclude that this might now be unnecessary. Back to the office…

mdi-timer 15 June 2022 @ 10:13 15 Jun 2022 @ 10:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
IPSA Delay Releasing MP Expense Data Again

Hacks waiting to pore over the latest MP expenses data will have to wait longer than expected. Having previously marked this upcoming Thursday as the next publication date – and with the last set of data arriving last September, 9 months ago – the increasingly less independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has just confirmed they have delayed the latest release. They claim they’re still “hopeful” to get the data out there before the end of the month…

Guido just spoke to the IPSA press office on the phone. They claim it’s “largely out of their hands” as they’re still waiting for the publication of “the full security review” following the death of Sir David Amess. As Guido reported back in October, IPSA informed MPs they were delaying the release of the November data, and redacting swathes of information from the new data set – mainly relating to travel and constituency surgery venue hire – in the wake of security concerns following Sir David’s murder. Even at the time, Guido thought this reeked of an excuse to return to the old pre-scandal expenses system. Now, 9 months later, it looks like that’s bearing out…

mdi-timer 7 June 2022 @ 12:56 7 Jun 2022 @ 12:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
MPs Categorically Told Not to Keep £150 Energy Rebate

In a rare sign of miserliness from expenses body IPSA, MPs were quietly warned last week that under no circumstances should they claim or keep the forthcoming energy bill rebate. A move that would be too stupid for words given they already get their second home utility bills paid for by the taxpayer…

A bulletin last week told MPs that if they are in an IPSA funded home that qualifies, “you should not apply for this.” For those who would be paid directly and may automatically receive the rebate, “in these cases the amount should be repaid to IPSA.”

“If you are in an IPSA funded home which qualifies for the rebate, and you pay by direct debit you may automatically receive the Council Tax Rebate of £150; in these cases the amount should be repaid to IPSA.

If you are in an IPSA funded home which qualifies for the rebate but you do not receive the rebate automatically (for example, because you do not pay be direct debit) you should not apply for this.

The government has provided all councils in England with funding to provide discretionary support to any household that is in financial need, regardless of council tax band. This should not be applicable where council tax and utilities are reclaimed from IPSA.”

Our hard-working public servants just can’t seem to catch a break these days…

mdi-timer 25 April 2022 @ 11:36 25 Apr 2022 @ 11:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Enjoy Your Extra £2,212 MPs

Happy April 1st. Energy bills have gone up over 50%, council tax is rising, National Insurance has gone up, water bills are up, and even VAT on eating and drinking has gone up from 12.5% to 20%. The next year is going to be a long, hard slog for ordinary people. It’s almost unbelievable, therefore, that the news of MPs getting a £2,212 pay rise today hasn’t been more prominent.
Previous IPSA-foisted pay rises have forced MPs to publicly condemn the move and promise to pay it to charity – this time only a couple have. While Guido’s previous call for MP pay to be linked to the country’s economic performance was rejected by IPSA, it is plainly awkward for any MP trousering this latest handout as they vote for higher taxes on their constituents. Guido’s not doing an April Fools this year – the taxpayer is already being played for one.

mdi-timer 1 April 2022 @ 11:29 1 Apr 2022 @ 11:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
REVEALED: UK’s Most Expensive Pandemic MPs

Top Taxpayer’s Alliance research out this morning reveals the average cost of each MP skyrocketed during the pandemic, from £157,747 per member in 2019-20, to £203,880 in 2020-21 – a 29% increase. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to co-conspirators, given Guido’s repeated coverage of boosts to their expense allowances:

  • In March 2020 he was the first to reveal MPs had been granted a £10,000 increase in their monthly credit card limit
  • In May 2020 rules changed to allow MPs to claim for private taxis instead of having to use public transport – a rule change not reversed until March 2021
  • In June 2020 MPs’ staff started receiving a £312 “annual homeworking bonus” to cover home telephone usage, internet, electricity and gas – all tax-free
  • In August 2020 MPs began being able to pay for professional cleaning of their taxpayer-funded London pads when moving out

This goes without mentioning the new funding for extra staff and, of course, Airpod-gate

Now the TPA has put together a list of Britain’s most expensive MPs, which can be read in full below. Coming in at number one is Anna Soubry’s replacement in Broxtowe, Darren Henry, who racked up a total of £280,936. This compares to the least expensive, Philip Hollobone, who spent £80,709. Kit Malthouse takes the crown for most expensive MP attending cabinet. 

This year’s figures are especially interesting as, for once, they’re not dominated by Scottish and Northern Irish MPs, who usually take all the top spots thanks to their high travel costs. The virtual parliament has, however, allowed Britain’s biggest spending MPs to really shine through…

Read More

mdi-timer 21 January 2022 @ 08:43 21 Jan 2022 @ 08:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Previous Page Next Page