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MPs given £10,000 extra to help them work from home during coronavirus outbreak

MPs will be able to claim extra money during the lockdown.

2 min read

MPs are to be allowed to claim an extra £10,000 in expenses to help them work from home during the coronavirus epidemic.

According to The Times, the cash can be spent on laptops and printers for MPs and their staff, or to pay for additional electricity, heating and phone bills.

It comes on top of the existing £26,000 a year that MPs can each claim to cover their office costs.

New guidance published last month by the Indpendent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which polices the MPs' expenses regime, said: "This is an uncertain and challenging time. Ipsa is committed to supporting MPs and their staff to carry on with their work as far as possible."

And a letter to MPs from Richard Lloyd, the interim chair of Ipsa, said: "We have agreed a series of immediate measures that we hope will provide you with the resources and flexibility to concentrate on your parliamentary duties and support your staff."

In a addition to the extra £10,000, Ipsa has also relaxed the ruled on the evidence MPs must provide to back up their expenses claims.

But Alistair Graham, former chair of the committee on standards in public life, said he was uneasy with the decision.

He said: "It seems to me a very crude approach. I think the public may be slightly puzzled as to why what looks like a generous payment of this nature has been made without first doing a bit more research into what the actual costs are."

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