MPs have been awarded expenses of £70,000 a year for owning a car even though most of them are not paying congestion charges, The Times reports. These allowances were worth £1.15 million last year – which is the equivalent of £70,000 a year.
A study into the allowances published in The Times has revealed that around a third of MPs have kept their £17,000 per annum commuter allowances for up to 10 years. Some have claimed more than one car loan. Some have even been caught with more than one car loan.
The study conducted by Parliament’s chief administrative officer (CAO) also found that the average taxpayer can expect to contribute £2,500 a year for MPs not paying congestion charges, and more than £2,500 a year for the average MP living in the fringes of London. The study also stated that the average elderly pensioner would have to carry out more than double the number of work hours as MPs to be paid the same amount.
The CAO study was done at the request of the parliamentary committee on standards in public life. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the fees paid to MPs – for these exemptions – amounted to £280,800 in 2016. The increases on the allowances, which also include “elderly travel expenses”, were first introduced in 2006.
Of 1,261 taxpayers questioned for the report, a majority said the allowances were necessary and wanted them to be kept, but the number was only a few votes higher than those asking to have them scrapped.