MPs claiming rent for their second properties on expenses

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Two MPs serving the Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings area are claiming rent for second properties on expenses, it was revealed yesterday (Monday).

Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles (Con) and MP for the Deepings John Hayes (Con) are two of more than 300 MPs claiming rent on expenses, as permitted under the terms of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority rules governing second homes for MPs with constituencies outside London.

Before the 2009 expenses scandal MPs, who earn about £65,000 a year, were allowed to claim back the mortgage interest payments on second their homes.

Instead those who are eligible can now claim up to £20,000 on rent payments on their expenses.

Mr Boles, the cabinet planning minister, said: “I rent a two bedroom flat in the town at a cost of £600 a month. 

“This is borne by the taxpayer under the terms of the IPSA rules governing second homes for MPs with constituencies outside London.

“IPSA would permit me to charge the taxpayer up to £1,660 a month to rent a flat in London as an alternative. I choose not to do this because I own a flat in London. I have a large mortgage on this property.”

Mr Boles previously lived near Grantham but moved to Stamford in August.

Mr Boles came under fire in August when it was revealed he had claimed £678.80 of public money to pay for Hebrew lessons.

All MPs have the option of claiming for language lessons.

In July Mr Boles called for wealthy pensioners to lose certain benefits, such as winter fuel payments and free bus passes.

MP for Rutland and Melton Alan Duncan (Con) and MP for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara (Con), have not claimed rent for a second property on their expenses.