MPs have introduced a scheme that allows them to claim up to £9,125 a year as "subsistence" without producing a receipt, in a move that will reignite public debate on parliamentary expenses.
The allowance of £25-a-night is disclosed in the new parliamentary Green Book – which sets out expense rules – issued to MPs on 13 July. It would, in theory entitle MPs to £725 a month if every night was spent away from their main home. Previously, MPs could claim up to £400 a month without receipts for food. According to the Daily Telegraph, MPs will simply have to state how many nights they have spent away from their main home "on parliamentary business" to receive the flat-rate sum. It said the sum would be paid on top of mortgage interest, rent, council tax and utility bills.
The rules are thought to have been agreed by a committee of MPs, chaired by Speaker John Bercow and including Commons Leader Harriet Harman and her Tory shadow Alan Duncan, which approved the rule without any debate before the summer recess.
The Green Book is usually revised every few years, although a special edition has been produced following the expenses scandal. It follows high-profile announcements by Parliament on the scrapping of expense claims for furnishings, along with a requirement of receipts for everything claimed.
The House of Commons, the Labour Party and the Tories were not available for comment last night.Reuse content