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back to article MPs get £2k home cinema on taxpayers

MPs are allowed to splurge up to £1,770 of taxpayers' money on home cinema equipment for their London pied à terre, it's been revealed, as part of the so-called "John Lewis* list". The document has been released as part of the ongoing scrutiny of the seemingly generous expenses or elected representatives grant themselves. It …

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Rob
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So, according to that list then...

They basically get to furnish their entire house, paid for by me. Gee thanks. I thought I elected you to stop all this frivolous spending and so you could pump cash into vital services but obviously the voting form says in small print somewhere "Please feel free to bend me over, rape me and rifle through my pockets for spare change at the same time."

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Anonymous Coward

I don't wish to sound like I'm moaning...

...but why the fuck are MPs given such allowances anyway? It'd be simply lovely for me to be able to maintain a second home closer to work (my current commute is nearly 2miles!), so assuming I'll pay for the rent myself, how do I apply for general gadgetry funding?

Of all the things that have pissed me off recently (people moaning about T5, Road congestion charges), this is right up there.

There is absolutely no reason that MPs need this allowance to let them better server their constituents. If they want a second home, they should ensure they can afford it. If not, tough shit - deal with it like the rest of us have to.

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So why...

DO they need gold plated pensions and £160k salary when clearly they are provided for with everything they need on the tax payers back already =/

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IF you were an employee

These would.

1. have to be declared

2. Be a taxable benefit

3. Be taxed under gains on resale

But if your an MP its gravy train all the way, why dont we outsource MP's to OIndia, get nothing done, but cheaper?

This is what I pay my spirraling taxes for a lod of fat useless lying money laundering nepotistic twats.

I want to opt out of being a Uk citizen and keep my taxes, i would do much better paying private rather than paying these nutters, would also give me a pension in my old age, time something is done says I...

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IT Security Consultant to MP

Under the rules of IR35 I would not get away with hardly, if any of that.

I want to be an MP!!!

Vote for me!

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Anonymous Coward

Thrifty!

Workstation - £150

You don't get much Unix for £150!

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£750 TV

And the justification for this is what, exactly?

You can certainly make an argument that it's useful for an MP to be able to watch the News so he needs a TV, but can you really justify a 42" HD screen?

http://www.johnlewis.com/230430277/Product.aspx

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Alien

Disgusting

I find it disgusting that I pay my taxes...ALL of them and can barely afford a new sofa and yet they get all these things for free and worse off I am god damn paying for them!

Will they buy me my new bed? TV? oh and new snowboard? (Put that under excercise equipment)

Why do they get all these things when they are constantly losing our data, things of which if we did would send us to prision or be prosacuted!

I am sick of having rich stuck up fat people telling us what to pay, getting things for themselves and not helping the average man. Tell me what makes them so special?

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Unhappy

oh so that is where my taxes go!

I am not in the best of moods today, feeling quite belligerent and this is not helping!!!

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Alien

Mine!!

Seeing as how I have paid (at least a portion) for this, can I pop around and watch tv and lounge about on their sofa!!

Mines the one with the brown envelope in the inside pocket!!

The alien - cos they all are

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Gold badge

Robbing from the poor and giving to the rich

The rich in the UK don't pay much tax, they're supposed to but they have ways of getting around it. In fact the IR have even said they don't pursue people who have accountants.

Given the recent abolishon of the 10% rate the tax burden has shifted to the low paid.

There is no way politicians (well paid ones at that) should need tax payers to fund TVs and the like. If they're doing their work they won't have much time to watch them anyway.

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Stop

time we all became MP's

all you need to say is YE YE YE and you get all that ?

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Query:

It seems to say that these limits are per year.

So, for example, they can buy a new home theatre system each year as long as they don't spend more than £1,770.

Since these abodes are supposed to be for the business of government, why don't they buy up a hotel or three, kit them out with a bed, TV, shower/toilet and have the MP's pick up a key for a room when they need it?

And as an advantage, it's easier to secure, too, being only a few buildings rather than scattered premises needing looking after.

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Anonymous Coward

bus-turds

We need a new picture - one of pigs with ears back and feet and face in the trough..

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No particular objections

The list possible has a few too many things on it, but honestly, I think our MPs should be able to have a decent standard of living while they're in town. They should also have access to equipment essential to their work, (as should we all).

TV & radio are essential to an MP these days.

It's not the salaries, it's not the allowances, it's the hypocrisy. It's not that they're getting these things (I think they should), it's that in the private sector, these things would be limited to a greater extent and taxed to high heaven.

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IT Angle

I see no mention of a computer

I'd have expected to see

Computer - £4000

So they can get a tri-SLI 8800GTX setup from Alienware to help them keep in touch with their constituents at (second) home.

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WTF?

Ummm, WTF? I am for once totally speechless......

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why should any of this be on expenses??

I don't expect the company i work for to pay for any of my home goods, i have to buy them myself from my salary. There is a dress code where i work, if i can't meet that, i don't expect the company to buy me a suit and dry clean it for me, i would expect warnings about being fired if i didn't sort it. MP's should be exactly the same, they make at least 3-4 times the average wage so they're not exactly on the poverty line.

Expenses are for things that are directly related to work, not luxury second homes

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Tim
Bronze badge

Re: IT Security Consultant to MP

Exactly. Now I see what's allowed to be claimed for as expenses with 'public' money, I see no problem as a contractor in claiming for similar expenses with my own company's money, despite HMRC getting medieval on our asses for any such claims!

Double standards. Pah!

Right, I'm off to John Lewis to get me a £2k set up on the company :-)

Of course *I* have to specify it's for business use (erm... presentations of course!). MPs don't!!!

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Stop

WTF?

I just feel i am being screwed over for cash, now I know where some of my taxes are going.

This is truly awful.

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Anonymous Coward

Not just for shopping in John Lewis

I could be wrong but it apppears to me that they don't just get £23,000 a year to buy furniture with, they get £23,000 a year for their entire living expenses which includes hotel bills or rent or mortgage interest depending on how they choose to accomodate themselves when they're in London or their contituency (their permanent home will be near one or the other). £2,000 a month won't get you more than an okay one bedroom flat in central London.

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Paris Hilton

£750 TV?

Doesn't sound that great. Surely the discerning fraudster er, politician would be used to TVs worth at least double that!

Paris because you get a lot of her for £750

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Re- Workstation/computer

The 'Workstation' listed is just a desk, the computer, printer and all the other requirements come out of the MP's office expenses budget.

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Flame

£300 rugs?!!?!

Hahahahaha, its lovely to see that the 4.5% Im paying on my student loan (now well over double what it was originally) is being thrown away on £300 rugs, because I can see how important it is for them to get NOT ONLY CARPET AND UNDERLAY, but a frigging RUG TOO!!!

What a pile of shit... and they wonder why young voters are apathetic... strangely no one seems to wonder why we are so skint!

Who the hell signed this one off? I know my boss wouldnt!

Yours poorly,

Andy

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Unhappy

at least...

i now know where my petrol tax is going... w@nkers!!!!

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Shopping Around

In all honesty, these lists should be reviewed and then thrown in the bin. If they want a shredder, go to Stationary Box, they cost £15, not £50! Or get a hand operated one and they are about £5 tops!

My Home Entertainment System hasn't cost £1700, because I shopped around, cost me a tickle over £1000! It's good to see my tax payments going to the use we're led to belive they are used for, such as the NHS (though surely they use my car parking fees for that), a decent education system (mmmrph, hurhur) and everything else they lied about in their manifesto!

Think I'm going to run for Parliament, so I can claim benefits such as these and also so I can stand up on TV and call Gordon Brown, Badger Brows et al a bunch of Ham Shankers!

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Hmm

To be fair, unlike most people, MPs have to split their time between two workplaces, which in some cases are geographically separated by a considerable distance. I wouldn't consider it reasonable to expect the MP for the north end of Northumberland to commute between his constituency and Westminister on a regular basis. Some accomodation has to be provided, and a flat is probably cheaper in the long run than putting an MP up in hotels all the time.

However, having said that, there are easier and cheaper ways of doing it. I have to agree with Mark. A parliamentary appartment block, furnished to uniform standard with the basic essentials, bought in bulk, is all that is really necessary. Additional furnishings should be on the MPs own more than sufficient dime.

At the very least, things like kitchen equipment and electronics ought to be ordered from the kinds of bulk supply catalogues that every other business/government agency uses.

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MP'd

Majorly p****d!

I am glad i am not the only one who thinks this a joke. They already have a sweet deal, and all have nice homes. I am not yet a home owner, and it could be years before I ever am, and yet my taxes, are going towards them sorting out their second home...something is not right here! oh and four letters for you, I-K-E-A.

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Flame

Not particularly looking for a row on a Friday afternoon, but…

Not particularly looking for a row on a Friday afternoon, but… MPs are required to live in their constituency. In order to perform their job they also need to spend the majority of the working week in London. As we have yet to hear from anyone claiming that Northumberland to London is a reasonable daily commute I don’t see much wrong with expecting their employer to pick up the tab for living expenses. After all, if asked to work away from home we all expect the same.

Yes they could all stay in hotels, but I expect that a flat works out considerably cheaper, a previous employer of mine maintained an estate of company houses for this very reason.

As to the individual allowance for each item, I have spent more than that allowance on goods in almost every category, so I don’t see much wrong with PMs who have almost as an important job as me ;-) spending almost as much.

Of much more interest are the rules governing disposal of theses assets at the end of the MPs time in office; anybody?

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Alert

REVOLUTION!!!!

Seeing how all of these are tax free for the bastards, how about, for a laugh, we all just stop paying tax?

Refuse to pay Council Tax, avoid wherever possible to file an income tax return and start using bartering as a method for getting goods and services so they don't get VAT.

There isn't enough prison space for them to put everyone in.

I am the revolution.

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Go

Lets do 'em!

Meet you all in Whitehall Monday morning for a good old fashioned lynching!

No, wait, better make that Monday afternoon so that there's actually some MPs around.

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Stop

The sad thing...

...is that because of the way government works this will never really change. The real questions should be how long has this been going on behind closed doors.

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Ash
Pirate

My depression's coming back

I fucking hate this country.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

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Anonymous Coward

Two legs good - four legs bad

They will have other expenses for computer equipment.

They can still smoke at work as well.

We don't live in a democracy that is for sure, we live in a corrupt bureaucracy with a selective legal system. Spin involves dividing the population on none partisan lines, the boot appears to be soundly stamping on the face of humanity.

We only have ourselves to blame really - this mess could be sorted out in a month - it is quite simple, everyone just downs tools, the most persuasive non violent form of protest.

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Ed
Happy

John Lewis

John Lewis are 'never knowingly undersold' so they'll meet or beat any price of a shop in the local area...

http://www.johnlewis.com/Help/Help.aspx?HelpId=18

That isn't to say they aren't expensive, but it might explain why they are considered to be a place to buy from for MPs.

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Tim
Happy

Also not looking for a rumble

I'm all for frugality in the public sector but I don't think there's anything particularly unreasonable about this. Sticking MPs up in boarding school-style dormitories as some seem to be suggesting is hardly going to encourage them to give their best at Westminster.

A perennial problem that the public sector has is attracting the best talent. I think we can see how hard this is by looking at the arseholes we have in government at the moment. Andy Burnham: would anyone here hire him for anything other than tea boy? Decent pensions go some way towards this but some allowances for London living for provincial MPs are important too.

Far better than whining about this why not try to hold them to higher standards in the first place? Make them really accountable for what they do, make them deserve this kind of perk. Removing the perks is only going to ensure we have an even worse set of twats in the future.

Sorry forgive the rambling I'm a bit pished after a lovely long Friday City lunch. Credit crunch just means buying crisps on the company Visa...

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Have your say

I don't have a problem with any of this and I'm surprised to read the comments here - perhaps you meant to log onto the BBC's HYS? (*)

I don't want an MP that would work for peanuts, and if I lived far from London I would not want an MP who would be willing to spend the week living in a squat for the priviledge of attending Parliament on my behalf.

Perhaps it's hard for the little people to accept, but those of us who pull down a decent wage want MPs who are similarly able, and expect to pay accordingly. We expect to provide MPs with a nice, well furnished flat in London (unless they represent a consituency in or near there). Otherwise Parliament would be staffed only by the rich, the corrupt, and the obsessed. Not good.

Of course, if you all vote for monkeys, then that's what we get. Such is democracy.

Posted anonymously for fear of the mob.

* for our American readers, you can see "Have Your Say" on the BBC website, and be amazed at how cretinous, indignant and mean-spirited the great British public is. You'll find that President Bush is responsible for all of humanity's ills, and that we deserve massive financial compensation.

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Theiving B******s

<total F****N RANT>

bollocks to, *ooh, they need somewhere to live when they are in london* pish, they buy a fuckin house at our expense get it fully furnished for bugger all outlay, then when they no longer *serve* the country the fuckwits can sell the lot, lock stock and barrel and stick the profit in their back pockets, what a completely annoying list that is. Also, of course they just mentioned the other day that they will will now have to produce receipts for purchases over £25, what was the figure before....£250 thats more than twice some peoples weekly wage. what do they do for it, blow hot air up each others arses and pat industry on the back laying the groundwork for a job when they quit parliament, what a state this country is in

</total F****N RANT>

I think i need to go have a lie down, no icon as there isnt an animated gif of some good for nothing bastard getting the shit kicked out of them

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Stop

are you insane?

i've not heard anything regarding this as bad news today...

are changes going to be made now this infomation is out?

if this has been going on..imagine what other benefits they get?

this is just the tip of the iceberg...a total joke

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@Tim and AC

Who says it's a school dorm? Is that the ONLY sort of accommodation you get in hotels nowadays???

And as for it being more expensive than flats, you forget that hotels have to be profitable and have to have enough space to contain the large summer tourist population and charge enough for this so that the mostly empty rooms at low season still produce the profit.

But how much of a stretch is it to size the hotels for the *fixed number* of MP's? You could be a little riskier and assume that 90% of the time no more than 60% of the MP's are *in* London and size your accommodation appropriately.

So getting on for 100% occupancy and no need to make a profit from it either.

Much more finanically efficient.

And all those MP homes are released (sold by the government to offset the current debt!) easing the housing congestion in London.

As for not wanting someone willing to live in squat for the privilege of working in Parliament, you're forgetting:

a) no need to have any qualifications for the job

b) power. Heck, if Two Jags can get off with his secretary, it really IS the ultimate aphrodisiac!

c) decent pay

d) fabulous pension

e) Gongs et al

f) for MP's in the cabinet, a good chance of either EuroMP or director position set up for you

g) if (f) fails, the Lords

and would you want someone as your MP whose only concern is their monetary compensation and ease?

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But on the upside...

...John Lewis is 'never knowingly undersold' so if any of our pork-barrelling representatives find their taxpayer funded lifestyle cheaper elsewhere, JL will refund the difference.

Which is a morsel of comfort isn't it?

Oh, no, it's not.

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Anonymous Coward

@PaddyR

"£250 thats more than twice some peoples weekly wage".

I'm sorry that some people earn very little money, but £23,000 a year expenses to live in central London really isn't over the top.

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@Thrifty!

I was considering asking what a work station is as it seems a little on the pawky side for such a pig trough of a list.

Then I saw someone had answered it. Just a desk. A vital piece of equipment for an MP, I'd have thought. And the cheapest thing there besides the shredder. How come the shredder isn't office expenses?

I have always thought that Guy Fawkes was the only decent British politician ever. A role model we should strive to emulate in every way and the source of a bloody good party afterwards too.

The only problem is that blowing the gluttonous bastards up would be too easy on them. I would much prefer hanging drawing and quartering them.

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Stop

scrap it!

MPs earn a decent wage (they are afterall public servants and not there for the money) get loads of money for an office and secretary, money for a second house, money to furnish that second house, £10k (each) to create a website about them plus travel expenses paid.

Enough is enough. They should get far far less than that. They are just greedy bastards, I mean how do you justify getting £25k a year to furnish your second house? That's shit!

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@Anonymous Coward

*I'm sorry that some people earn very little money, but £23,000 a year expenses to live in central London really isn't over the top*

tell that to someone working there earning £23,000 with no expense account

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They have to commute between constituency and London

No they f***ing don't. Not any more. Maybe in the 18th century when there wasn't telephones, emails and video conferencing they did, but just as my company has had to innovate and cut costs and move towards distributed management and telecommuting SO COULD THEY.

In fact I'd love to see House of Commons votes run so that the MP MUST be in his or her constituency, in a hall with several hundred voters watching, for each parliamentary division. Then the lying corrupt creeps would have to explain exactly why they just voted for ID cards, or going into an illegal war, or whatever to some members of the public instead of hiding behind the whips or pretending 'it wasn't me'.

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Bob

@ the cowardly anonymous b@stard!

[quote]Perhaps it's hard for the little people to accept, but those of us who pull down a decent wage want MPs who are similarly able, and expect to pay accordingly. [/quote]

You're an MP aren't you? you're a c*nt too :)

[quote]We expect to provide MPs with a nice, well furnished flat in London (unless they represent a consituency in or near there). Otherwise Parliament would be staffed only by the rich, the corrupt, and the obsessed. Not good.[/quote]

how is that different from what we have now? sod that, this country needs a big sign reading "out of order".

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Stop

Fine by me....

I'm sure the electorate would be only too happy to award whopping salaries and generous 2nd house allowances to honest inscrutable individuals who really put public service first.

Trouble is, we've got a barrel of monkeys running this country - get 'em out!

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@Mike Banahan

hear hear

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Total Crap!

Quote "I'm sorry that some people earn very little money, but £23,000 a year expenses to live in central London really isn't over the top"

Yes it is when they are already earning 130k a year to look after there own interests, rather than what the public want.

MP's are meant to be public servants, I've yet to see an MP from inner city Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, etc, give up the extra he/she earns to have a similar level of living to those they are "serving". Come on, they are only out for themselves.

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