Grantham MP Nick Boles defends claiming rent on expenses

Nick Boles Grantham MP
Nick Boles Grantham MP
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Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles has defended the practice of claiming rent on expenses for a second home.

Mr Boles pays rent for a flat in Stamford which is owned by the Burghley House Preservation Trust. Under parliamentary rules MPs are allowed to claim rent on expenses up to the sum of £20,000, costing the taxpayer more than £1 million a year.

A list of MPs who claim rent on expenses and their landlords has been published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

Mr Boles told the Journal: “The Burghley Estate owns a very large proportion of the properties for rent in Stamford. I rent a two bedroom flat in the town at a cost of £600 a month. This is borne by the taxpayer under the terms of the IPSA rules governing second homes for MPs with constituencies outside London.

“IPSA would permit me to charge the taxpayer up to £1,660 a month to rent a flat in London as an alternative. I choose not to do this because I own a flat in London. I have a large mortgage on this property.”

Parliament has been accused of a cover-up after it refused to release details of some MPs, who were claiming rent on expenses, for security reasons. It has also been revealed some MPs have been renting out properties in London while claiming back rental expenses on second properties outside the capital, which is not against the rules but has caused controversy.

Mr Boles, who became Grantham MP in 2010, has not been far from controversy himself after calling for pensioners to be means-tested for winter fuel payments and bus passes, and then claiming expenses for Hebrew language lessons after entering into a civil partnership with Israeli Shay Meshulam.

Do you believe MPs should be allowed to claim up to £20,000 in rental expenses on second homes? Leave your comment.