Energy price cap: MPs demand £420,000 to heat their homes
British MPs have charged taxpayers £420,000 for energy bills for their second homes over the past three years, openDemocracy can reveal.
The government has refused to intervene to cut record energy costs as millions of people in the UK face bill hikes of 54%. Senior Tories have also blocked proposals for a windfall tax on energy companies.
Yet government ministers are among 405 MPs who have claimed expenses for their heating bills since April 2019. Among them are Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, two senior Treasury ministers and even a minister from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Energy.
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Meanwhile, ordinary consumers have been hit with an extra £700 a year for heating their homes. Official figures show that 40% have already struggled to afford gas and electricity.
George Freeman, who is a minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, claimed £1,565 for electricity and other fuels.
Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, claimed £1,548 for gas and electricity.
Treasury ministers Simon Clarke and John Glen also called for home energy spending.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General for the Government, Suella Braverman, ran up an energy bill of £3,945, which she billed taxpayers.
And disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has claimed £4,800 over energy costs – mostly during the pandemic.
But Labor MP Liam Byrne claimed the most energy in his second home, charging taxpayers some £7,808 over three years.
Under the Expenditure System, MPs are allowed to claim utility bills from their second home if their constituencies are outside London.
Last week MPs also secured a pay rise of £2,212, taking their standard salary to £84,144 a year.
In reality, many MPs earn far more than that, as they are often paid extra for taking on additional roles like being a minister or chairing a select committee.
In November, openDemocracy also revealed that MPs had earned £6million from second jobs since the start of the pandemic.
But outside Westminster, the UK’s poverty crisis is deepening – and the government has been called on to rein in energy companies by introducing a windfall tax.
Last month, openDemocracy revealed that the big six energy companies had made more than £1 billion in profits before the bill hike.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng rejected the windfall tax proposals, saying it would be “completely the wrong message to send to investors”.
“We think a windfall tax would be a tax on jobs, destroy investment and add uncertainty to oil markets,” he said.
Speaking during a Commons debate on the issue, Tory MP Andrew Bowie said the tax proposals were “stunts”. But records show he has claimed expenses for almost £1,300 in electricity bills since 2019.
Rising energy prices have raised new concerns about the UK’s spiraling poverty crisis, with those on low incomes, the elderly and people with disabilities being hardest hit.
The total cost to taxpayers of MPs’ energy bills is set to rise further as all claims from last year will not yet have been made.