Caroline Flint

Standing up for Don Valley.

MPs Energy Bills

In response to press stories about MPs' energy bills, Caroline Flint explains:

“All MPs have the same basic salary. But unlike London MPs, those whose constituency is a long way from London, have to live between two places.  So Parliament has supported accommodation costs to help those MPs for many years. MPs claiming electricity or gas bills is no secret, it is all published.

"I live in Doncaster and travel down to Parliament on a Monday and return on a Thursday night.  For that reason, like many other MPs, Parliament provides for support for that second accommodation.  See below for more details.

"As you would expect, I pay all my costs, including energy bills, for my Doncaster home."

The scheme drawn up by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority provides for accommodation costs to be met, with a financial cap on the total.

In the Forward to the MPs’ scheme, the Chair of IPSA, Sir Ian Kennedy, writes:  “For those MPs whose constituencies are more than 20 miles from London, working in two locations – their constituency and Westminster – brings with it a need for a base in those two places. We continue to believe that it is right for the taxpayer to support MPs who need overnight accommodation when performing their parliamentary functions.”

What if that support was removed?

Caroline explains:

"The support exists because we have constituency MPs, from Cornwall to Inverness and everywhere in between.  If the taxpayer chose not continue to support MPs in this way, a number of things might happen.  Some MPs would live only in London, and visit their constituencies, from time to time.  Or more MPs would be drawn from those with real wealth, for whom the MPs' pay is just pocket money.

"Or the country could decide that it wants to abandon constituency MPs altogether and just elect MPs on a national list and they would all live in London.

"I don't agree with any of those outcomes. I want ordinary men and women from all over the country and from all backgrounds to represent towns and villages as constituency MPs; and I hope that the public will support them to do that important job."

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