Monday 23 September 2013


Baker, whose wealth is estimated at £3.9m

Under the bedroom tax more than 600,000 social tenants with one or more spare rooms must either move or pay an average £14-a-week penalty.

A single parent who is not a child’s main carer will not receive extra housing benefit to cover the cost of a spare bedroom to allow the child to stay overnight.

But MPs who want their children to visit their London residence can claim extra money from their accommodation allowance to cover the costs of accommodating them, providing the child ‘routinely resides’ with them.

What qualifies as ‘routinely residing’ is up to the MP’s discretion, so they will still be eligible for the extra money if their children visit just once a month, under rules laid down by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

The scheme was branded as the ‘ultimate hypocrisy’ by Lucy Ferman, project manager for Placeshapers - an alliance of 100 housing associations.

In the 2011/12 financial year, 29 MPs who voted for the bedroom tax claimed additional expenses for the cost of dependants over and above the standard £20,100 accommodation allowance they were entitled to, costing the taxpayer £63,819.

In the same period, a further 20 who did not vote for the legislation claimed £36,864.
Nigel Adams

Conservative MP Nigel Adams, who accused the BBC of having a ‘preconceived agenda’ over its bedroom tax coverage, claimed £6,735 for costs related to dependants. He did not comment.

Climate change minister Greg Barker claimed an extra £3,313 for costs related to his dependants. His office said the claims were ‘fully compliant with IPSA rules’.

But the Northern Housing Consortium said MPs should consider whether the guidelines were still ‘right and proper’ in light of the bedroom tax policy - adding tenants would be ‘upset and angry’ that MPs did not face the same restrictions as them.

Crossbench peer Lord Richard Best said it was important that MPs had the space for their children to visit. ‘What we object to is that other people don’t. They have a penalty for having space.’

So, what we are saying is that the housing allowance for ordinary people, be they elderly, sick, disabled, or whatever, does not allow for part time usage by children, but housing allowance for the special kind of people that make up Westminster representatives does?  

Well, that's fair!


  1. I dislike it when children are brought into politics, to prove points and score victories.

    Leave the kids alone

    1. It's not really about kids, Dean. It's about a sense of entitlement to accommodation for kids being paid for by the state for some, but not for others. It's about the bedroom tax not applying to MPs.

    2. You have just blithely removed one of the main reasons many non politicos get brought into politics for Dean. In order to prove points and score victories on behalf of their children, families and communities.

      In the future Dean, when you have a kid or two and a family that is suffering under the unfair burden of cruel and selfish political legislation, just how do you see yourself campaigning against it without mentioning the kids?

      Campaign against trident by all means, but I dislike the way Nuclear weapons are brought into politics to prove points and score political victories.

      Leave the nukes alone.

      You sometimes leave me in despair Dean. Is it intentional?


    3. Dean

      The MPs are bringing children into it by claiming for things that is the duty of parents anyway. They are the scum of the earth and doing their best to really create and enshrine their new political class, we have always had a political class, but this bunch are the worst. If you feel that children should not be used in politics then email your Labour family and badger them to change the system and while your at it get them to keep the fecking royals and their million children out the papers, oh I assume thats ok as they are the royals.


  2. I think everyone, probably does do things for the future, for their kids and grandchildren. But I have to say that this was nothing about kids. This was about people who are paid around 3 times the national average, getting a benefit that they deny to other people.

    The queen lives in a council house...well, it's a house (or rather several houses) owned by the state. her kids also pitch up there from time to time...Andrew and Anne have apartments in Buck House, and they all seem to have rooms in Windsor Castle and Holyrood. She has her grandchildren to stay, and probably her great grandchild, and we pay for their accommodation.

    Oh but the queen has to live in a big house. Several big houses.

    So do poor people sometimes (although with the smallest houses in all Europe, you'd probably not call them that), because no one had the foresight to build smaller houses, or rather houses with fewer bedrooms.

  3. I wish you luck, Bruce, trying to get Labour MPs to change a system that hands them a few extra thousand pounds tax free... That's about as likely as Mrs Parker Bowles winning Miss World.