MPs with children have been given permission to claim higher expenses. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said it was allowing almost 150 MPs to claim more in order to rent larger properties and pay for children’s travel.
The confirmation of the allowance, released under the Freedom of Information Act, comes amid a debate about whether MPs should collect a £10,000 pay rise.
It has been claimed the benefit showed politicians were receiving perks out of reach of people in other walks of life.
Laura Perkins, a barrister who confronted Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on his radio phone-in show about benefit changes, told the Daily Telegraph: “At a time when the finances for ordinary families are so tight, they need to think long and hard about whether what they are doing is fair. Every other family is having to meet expenses out of their ordinary salary.”
It is thought nine ministerial level MPs have registered children under the scheme and it is reported that since 2010, £140,000 in expenses relating to children have been paid. An MP’s basic wage is £66,000 a year.
Some MPs argue that having to split their work between the House of Commons and a constituency means they should be reimbursed for extra costs connected with their children.