Second homes could be ruled out for MPs

PUBLISHED: 17:14 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:28 25 August 2010

THE Prime Minister has warned the capital s MPs that they may no longer be able to claim for a second home on expenses.

THE Prime Minister has warned the capital's MPs that they may no longer be able to claim for a second home on expenses.

This would mean that Erith and Thamesmead MP John Austin would not be able to claim £23,083 for his second home like he did last year.

The tax payer also paid £23,033 for Derek Conway the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, to have a second home in Sidcup despite having a family apartment a 30 minute train ride away in Westminster.

Mr Conway refused to tell the Times if he still had his home in Sidcup but said: "I fulfil the rules of the House on that issue.

"You will have to wait until July to find out."

On Monday night (30) Gordon Brown suggested to the Independent Committee on Standards in Pubic Life, which is looking into MPs pay, to swap the second home allowance for a "simpler overnight allowance".

Mr Austin, who is retiring at the next election said: "Generally, I have argued that the system of allowances is too complicated and not transparent enough. If the Senior Salaries Review Board believes an overnight allowance is justifiable, it would be simpler if this was on a flat rate."

Yesterday (1) all London MPs were entitled to an extra £6,163 inflating their wage to £64,766.

But some MPs do not think this is enough.

MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup Derek Conway said: "For many MPs, like me, their income reduced when they became an MP."

Sarcastically he said: "£60,000 is a phenomenal, huge and reasonable salary to live on in London, especially central London.

"I don't think the public or the press will be happy until MPs get paid nothing and we are just ruled by rich men again like we were 200 years ago.

"I am all in favour of our leaders making these statements while they will leave office with zillions."

The MP for Eltham Clive Efford did not claim for a second home, neither did the MP for Greenwich and Woolwich Nick Raynsford, unlike all three of Bromley's MPs who did.

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