The Claim Game: MPs charge taxpayers £30,000 for second home energy bills
Taxpayers coughed up £30,000 for the energy bills of MPs’ second homes in the first five months of last year alone, according to The Daily Mirror.
The newspaper has reported that 200 MPs claimed expenses for electricity, gas and dual fuel bills through Parliament’s expenses system in the first few months of last year.
This follows earlier reports from The Daily Mail that 316 MPs put in utilities claims in 2020-2021, with dozens claiming more than the average household’s dual fuel tariff of £1,138.
Data from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (PSA) showed that claims for utilities totalled £262,454 in 2019-20.
From the overall sum, £206,717 was for gas, electricity and other types of fuels.
This means MP’s are charging the taxpayer up to £3,500 for their second home energy costs as millions of Brits face spiralling utilities bills.
Claiming for utilities bills is permitted for MPs who represent seats outside London, who can claim back the cost of their electricity and gas on expenses on top of their £82,000 salaries.
The latest reports have emerged during an ensuing energy crisis, which has seen dozens of suppliers collapse and Bulb entered administration amid soaring wholesale gas prices.
Ofgem is now expected to hike the consumer price cap by over 50 per cent in April, when it reconvenes to discuss the mechanism on February 7.
This will raise bills for average use from £1,277 per household to potentially £2,000.
The government is apparently mulling over an expansion to the Warm Discount Homes scheme, which provides a £140 saving to 2.2m of the UK’s poorest households, and a loan to the energy industry to smooth over price increases and spread out higher costs over a longer period of time.
Downing Street is under increasing pressure with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng meeting with industry chiefs over Christmas, with both side agreeing consumers needed to be protected – however, neither party committed to any policies.
The Resolution Foundation has since warned that without further action, the number of people living under financial stress could treble when the price cap increases, with 6.3m households affected.