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Sunday 03 November 2013 UK
MPs feel the heat after claiming energy bills on expenses
The rising cost of energy is now a key political issue. But it has been revealed that MPs are claiming thousands of pounds in expenses for energy bills at their second homes - at a cost to taxpayers.
MPs are facing criticism for claiming £200,000 in taxpayers' money to cover their energy bills at a time when home heating costs are rising.
Some 340 MPs, including government ministers, have used parliamentary expenses to cover the cost of heating their second homes, the Sunday Mirror revealed.
Bills of over £1,000 were submitted by 41 MPs while 78 made claims for £500 in the 12 months up to March of this year, analysis found.
MPs have not broken any parliamentary rules but the revelation comes at a time of heightened tensions over spiralling costs of gas and electricity.
Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, founder of market research firm YouGov, claimed the most with a bill of £5,822.27 covering electricity and heating oil for his Warwickshire estate.
International Development Minister Alan Duncan claimed £2,750 for electricity bills and £1,250 in heating oil for his home in Rutland, Leicestershire and Universities Minister David Willetts, claimed £2,596.
Factcheck: Turning the heat up on PM's fuel poverty claims
Labour MP John Mann, who did not claim for his energy bills, said MPs who submitted the claims should start “wearing thicker jumpers”.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror he said: "There will be people including pensioners who can't afford to heat their homes who will be furious to find out that MPs who can afford to pay them are putting in such high claims.
"Government ministers are attacking Ed Miliband for proposing to freeze prices but they don't have to worry about the cost because they can put the claims in."
Energy industry regulator Ofgem analysis this week showed that increases announced by four of the Big Six have averaged 9.1 per cent with wholesale prices rising by 1.7 per cent.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said "It's disgraceful that well-paid MPs should claim expenses for heating costs at the same time that thousands of families are struggling to pay to turn the oven on to cook dinner for their families.
"These are the same hypocritical MPs who have failed to get a grip on soaring fuel and energy costs, rising food bills and pay freezes."
reply to post by Horus12
Traditionally, entitlement culture only existed amongst those that never had to work for a living. What they despise is the same sense of entitlement amongst the working classes. What they do not know is how they despise themselves, else they would have some pride or honour, pay for their own damn comforts and stop stealing from the public purse.edit on 3/11/2013 by teapot because: edit
What really takes the pee is that this money is for second homes! They're probably only using them during the summer months! Now add to that the fact that people are being made homeless because of the housing shortage!
They have a spare home!
They use OUR money to heat those homes!
Every single one of them should be made homeless as punishment.
The whole thing is a joke, and the joke is on ordinary people who have to buy their homes and run them on what they earn after the taxman has ripped in, Oh! and ordinary people have to buy their cars and fuel them, and their furniture, and their clothes, and their Garden gnomes. These career politicians piss me off, they live off of our backs the bunch of hypocrites, they are corrupt and stinky. Of course they do a few 'good' things like telling the BBC to knock a few bob off the TV licence in these hard times, fecking hikarious isn't it?