I live in Luton and work in London.
Like many thousands of others I do a regular commute each morning to get to the office and one each evening to get home. Because I have the benefit of living close to the rail station and the relatively good service provided by the Thameslink line I can be at most central London locations within an hour or hour and a half of leaving my home. This comes with a cost in money and in occasional frustration when the service is busy or disruptive, but this is the choice that I have made.
Another Luton resident that has made a similar choice is my Labour MP, Kelvin Hopkins. He, like me, lives in Luton and works in London. His office is likely to be somewhat grander than mine but we catch the same trains. I occasionally see him on my journey and, him being the decent chap that he is, we have had one or two pleasant chats as we have travelled through the Hertfordshire countryside. While the working patterns of most commuters are unlikely to be the same as a member of Parliament my impression is that the living and travel arrangements of the MP for Luton North mirror that of many of his constituents.
As a result over the past 5 years Kelvin Hopkins MP has claimed a modest £8,894 in second home allowance. One assumes for the occasional night in a London hotel after working late.
This is not the case for the neighbouring Labour MP for Luton South, Margaret Moran, who has claimed £87,206 over the same period.
Why should this be? Particularly, as Duncan Borrowman points out, they have houses in the same Luton road.
I have only seen Margaret Moran MP doing the London commute on one or two occasions. I suppose I shouldn’t rely on such anecdotal evidence to judge how much time she spends in her constituency. But I do know that, through her second home allowance claims, she costs the taxpayers of the town almost ten times more than Hopkins does.
I think we are entitled to ask if we are getting value for money?
- Why does one Labour MP claim £80k more in expenses than another MP living on the same street?
- Margaret Moran MP – make the most of it………
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.