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254 MPs are claiming more in expenses to pay their rent than the maximum someone in Westminster can claim in housing benefit, research by Generation Rent shows.
In total, taxpayers paid more than £5 million in 2013 to rent second homes for 335 MPs with constituencies outside London. Half of them claimed more than £1,675 a month in rent, and the biggest rent claim was for £2,467 a month. Monthly rent for the typical London household is £1,300. The highest rent claim, for £2,467 per month, was by North Antrim MP Ian Paisley.
A spokesperson from Generation Rent said: ‘Just living in a rented house doesn’t make an MP an expert on private renting. Because it’s not their money they have no idea what it’s really like to see half your income eaten up by rent, or scrimp together the fees involved in moving home. And because the allowance is so generous, they can afford the type of accommodation most private renters can only dream about.
‘We don’t object to the second home allowance, but if MPs realised how privileged they are compared to other private renters, they might finally take some action to improve a housing system that is failing millions.’
They would all fit into the many spare rooms within Buckingham Palace. A short walk from the commons. Secure with excellent facilities. Already funded by the taxpayer so effectively doubling the saving. An obvious option really in these austere times when benefit claimants who are not MPs or members of the Aristocracy have to pay the bedroom tax. As well as find the costs of these poor MPs……..
Is Shapps still fuming at being blocked from getting his own little snout into this trough, or did he find a way around his own admission that his constituency home was such a short commute to the commons?
Whilst the more deserving MPs, as opposed to the feckless something for nothing brigade like those in the Home Counties, need a London base if for no other reason than to follow their right to a family life, it is time that the basic allowance allowed for this so they at least could understand the value of the costs they need to meet, like the rest of us. That way they may rethink how they let out their ex-Council Homes for Market Rents to cash in on the Benefits Cash Cow they created.
The likes of Shapps, leading the division of society into deserving and undeserving have opened a Pandora’s Box that will be the ruin of us all.
Perhaps if the grinning money grabber were to apologise and commit to uniting communities instead there may be a gradual restoration of trust. Otherwise, the outcome is frightening.