Monday, 30 March 2009

Brown proposes fixed overnight allowance - but how much?

Brown has proposed replacing the £23,083 second homes allowance with a fixed overnight allowance for MPs whose main homes are outside inner London. But how much?

A Travel Lodge in central London at short notice is about £100 a night. Add £20 for dinner and £10 for breakfast and a cab fare and I'd guess £140 a night would be a fair allowance. The House sat for 165 days in the 2007 / 2008 session, so this would come out at £23,100 a year.

But of course it should only be payable for each day an MP attended; those only attending 100 sittings a year would get £14,000 and those only attending 60 sittings a year would get £8,400.

This actually seems fair to me. Where's the snag?

7 comments:

The Great Simpleton said...

Seems a sensible idea. Further savings could be made by commiting to a number of nights a year, the way industry does when it knows it will be using a hotel a lot.

The only snag is that MP's will probably see Travelodge beneath their status and demand Claridges or similar.

Bill Quango MP said...

The snag is that there appears to be little residual, capital gains free equity in a a Travelodge.

Anonymous said...

Excellent ideas, but you just know, don't you, that they will actually be awarded something like £500 per night, for every overnight of the parliamentary session, regardless of whether they actually attend or not.

It'll take more than this for the leopard to change its spots.

The Great Simpleton said...

Bill,

Given the recent falls in house prices there isn't much capital gains either - perhaps thats why Labour MP's are desperate to start house price inflation again?

Raedwald said...

TGS - Yes, they could stay at Claridges, rent a flat, buy a second home or spend their nights in a tent on St Stephen's Green; the point is the allowance would be fixed and pegged to their actual attendance.

For this reason I agree with the cynics above - it'll never happen.

The Great Simpleton said...

R,

Yes thats the point I was trying to make, albeit a bit tortuously.

Now is the time to make those changes and apply them from after the GE. Any MP or candidate who doesn't like it has time to resign so selections can take place with those applying knowing exactly where they stand.

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