UK

London MPs Should Be Given More Expenses.. Says Group Of MPs

20/01/2014 15:24 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT
Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
File photo dated 29/04/13 of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London as the watchdog responsible for MPs' pay and perks is to set out its plans to introduce an 11\% pay rise amid threats that the controversial proposals could lead to the organisation being axed.

London MPs should be given more expenses for hotels and staff, especially those not entitled to a taxpayer-funded second home, a Commons committee has said.

The cross-party Standards Committee said it had received complaints from colleagues who only got a "few hours" sleep if they returned home after late Commons sittings.

It some politicians with seats in the capital felt forced to fund accommodation out of their own pocket.

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The warning came in response to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's (Ipsa) regular consultation on the expenses regime - introduced in the wake of the 2009 scandal.

The committee highlighted the plight of MPs whose constituencies were outside central London, but considered close enough to Westminster that the taxpayer will not fund a second home.

"We continue to have concerns about the arrangements for hotels for those Members who do not have central London accommodation, and who have Parliamentary business until late in the night," the response said.

"This problem is particularly likely to affect MPs in the London area, particularly those serving constituencies outside central London."

The committee said it had received complaints from colleagues who only got a "few hours" sleep if they returned home after late Commons sittings.

Some had also pointed out that London MPs served "a particularly difficult and demanding group, with an ethnically diverse population", and the staffing budget did not reflect the extra cost of employing people in the capital.

Politicians were said to be using the London supplement - up to £5,000 a year added to the £66,000 MP salary - to help balance the books.

"We are aware that some Members are funding their own central London accommodation to avoid such problems," the committee said.

"We urge Ipsa to look carefully at the regime for London area MPs as we believe there may be some adjustment needed.

"We consider that although some rough justice is inevitable, the Scheme should operate in a way which does not unduly disadvantage those from a particular geographical area.

"We note the consultation itself acknowledges that London MPs in particular are operating close to their staffing budgets, and we are aware that some London MPs are subsidising staff costs from the London Area Living Payment (LALP)."