I wanted to be totally clear with constituents about this HIGHLY misleading headline in the Times yesterday: MPs ARE ABSOLUTELY 100% NOT GETTING ANY EXTRA MONEY FOR WORKING AT HOME.
MPs are not in receipt of an extra £10k at all, that is simply not true.
The facts are this:
- MPs office budgets were extended by £10k - ie not pay or additional money for MPs, no additional money goes in our pockets - but this is to allow people who might not currently have things like laptops to purchase them in order for staff to be able to work from home. This is a notional budget, we have not been given any money.
- This is not money that is given out, it's money that can be reclaimed on purchase of vital equipment, and only if needed. The VAST majority of MPs will never use this because, like me, they have scope within their existing budget to do this. So the VAST majority of this money will never ever be spent.
- So in reality - using me as an example - I have purchased a computer for one of my staff to be able to work remotely, and a keyboard and mouse, all of which falls within my existing office budget, and so I have actually used precisely ZERO of this £10k. The same will be true for the vast majority of MPs.
It's a contingency fund for this emergency situation, not additional money for MPs.
I repeat - MPs ARE ABSOLUTELY 100% NOT GETTING ANY EXTRA MONEY FOR WORKING AT HOME