Monday, 23 March 2009

Housing Allowances for UK Member’s of Parliament

I listened to BBC R4’s world at one as the rights and wrongs of MP’s Housing Allowance claims were discussed. The latest culprit is the Work minister Mr McNulty who is said to have claimed in excess of £60000 since 2002 for using his parent’s home that is only 11 miles from the House of Commons!


As I listened I couldn’t help but wonder if some of the rules that apply to those in receipt of Housing benefit (housing allowance mostly for those out of work or low income) would go some way to resolving this issue once and for all.

Why?

If you apply for this type of Housing Allowance you have to provide proof that you liable for rent at the address for which you are claiming.

If you are a parent claiming this allowance you have to prove that household members are not what is referred to as non-dependants (mostly adults that should be at work all things being equal).

The person they were interviewing (I am afraid his name escapes me) seemed to be surprised that an MP should claim a Housing Allowance and yet the House for which he is claiming is his parent’s home.

I did wonder if the MP’s parents are in receipt of Housing Benefit and therefore they would have to declare that their non- dependant son, leaves with them for part of the week. Just a thought

And the other rule of course is which home counts as your principal home. I do wonder whether this is where it goes so wrong for MP’s. Cant’ they tell which home they can and can’t claim a Housing Allowance for?

Other folk would not get away with claiming on two homes, exception is only made in very rare/ exceptional circumstances.

What do you think?

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