MPs could be forced to move into halls of residence to cut living expenses
They’re not happy at the thought of having to share a bathroom
Last year the youngest ever MP Mhairi Black said she was the only 20-year-old the Chancellor was willing to help with housing. Now it looks like all MPs from outside London could be forced to live like 20-year olds instead.
Student-style halls of residence are being considered for MPs with constituencies outside the capital in a government attempt to crack down on second home expenses – but they haven’t reacted well, saying they don’t want to “slum it”.
At the moment some MPs are getting their London rent covered for an entire 12 months, even though they’re only needed in Parliament for less than two thirds of the year. On the whole MPs with constituencies outside London got more than £6million handed to them last year for renting flats, houses and staying in hotels.
Now special accommodation blocks for MPs are being considered by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), who think the £20,600 a year allowance for rent or £150 a night for a hotel is way too much. The last time the allowance was back in 2009 after the MP expenses scandal.
The idea hasn’t gone down well with MPs, who think they’re being dragged straight back to their uni days.
One MP said: “What they really mean is forcing us to slum it in university-style blocks which would be completely unacceptable.
“What are they going to do? Segregate us into different blocks according to party colours: Cameron’s lot in Tory Towers and Corbyn’s camp at Labour Lubyanka?”
Tory MP Charles Walker said: “The suggestion that MPs are somehow deriving a personal benefit from being separated from their families for 200 days a year is ridiculous.”
A spokesman said: “IPSA wants MPs to be able to stay in London and their constituencies, to do their jobs in two locations, and to deliver good value for money for taxpayers. This year we will look at a range of options for how we can do both in the future.”
It is unclear whether the halls would be gender mixed, separated by party or how they decided to cast their last vote.