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Grantham MP Nick Boles explains why he rents flat in Stamford at taxpayers' expense

By kay_kelly  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

Stamford and Grantham MP Nick Boles

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Stamford and Grantham MP Nick Boles has clarified why he rents a flat in Stamford at the taxpayers' expense.

The planning minister is one of more than 300 MPs claiming rent - which costs the taxpayer more than £1m a year.

Mr Boles, who owns a flat in London, rents a £600-a-month Stamford property from Burghley House Preservation Trust.

He told granthampeople: "I rent a two bedroom flat in the town at a cost of £600 a month. 

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"This is borne by the taxpayer under the terms of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (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' parliamentary office spokesman said the London flat is the MP's primary residence during the week.

"He uses the Stamford rental property at the weekend when he attends surgeries in Stamford, Bourne or Grantham and other meetings in his constituency," he added.

New rules now ban MPs from claiming expenses for mortgages - but still allows them to claim for rent.

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  • theoutworker  |  November 30 2012, 9:21AM

    Get the stinking British out of England. The N'Irish, Scots and the Welsh plus the rest of the countries that were under their control have done it. England is the last country to be under the control of the British control freaks. A parliament for England is what we want.

  • Bolshie  |  November 21 2012, 3:57PM

    I don't have a real issue with 'parachuted' politicians - they are supposed to be 'professionals' in that area so there should be no harm in seeking the best person for the job regardless of where they come from. The problem is that the political party makes that judgement not the electorate and they have their own interests at heart not those of the community - if the community he lands in doesn't want him they should vote for one of their own. Party politics survives on the back of those that vote for a party because 'they always do' - or their Dad did!! Or some barking mad pre-conception that one party is for the working class and another for the middle/upper class. It simply creates the 'safe' seats party politics rely on to get their cabinet in place - I say they should have to work harder for it than they currently do That is a separate issue anyway - I agree on fair day's pay for a fair day's work and I follow the work of several politicians quite closely (Boles is one of them since this article was published) so do know how hard some of them work. I disagree entirely that expenses should be used as an under the radar top up of basic salary though - they should cover the essential costs associated with doing the job and not meet expectations of a lifestyle. The vast majority of MPs have a home in their constituency and rent a flat in London at up to £1660 per month plus associated running costs such as fuel bills, furnishings, maintenance, cleaning etc. That is not best value for money especially when they sit empty at weekends and the third of the year in which parliament is in recess. Budget hotels with remuneration for receipted expenses is the right way to deal with this issue from a taxpayer's perspective - those that can afford it and want to make alternate arrangements should be welcome to do so at their own (or their party's) expense! I had an interesting conversation with a Nottingham MP a year or so ago in which he agreed that contracting with a single London hotelier to meet parliament's needs would be far cheaper than the current arrangements and also concentrate protection work for the police (I'd give the current crop G4S not police as a lesson though!)

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  • eatmygoal  |  November 21 2012, 2:08PM

    I can see your view on the first point though, my old ward of Welton would vote Tory if the candidate was a plough horse with a blue rossette pinned to him.

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  • M_C_Donald  |  November 21 2012, 1:41PM

    eatmygoal I appreciate but don't fully agree with your first point. I do agree with your second point. It is important that none wealthy people can afford to be MPs and allowances are the right way to ensure this happens (one might argue that the deposit required is beyond what most people can afford. The regulation of allowances and the application of those regulations has to be robust to ensure that the unscrupulous don't milk them.

  • OldLincolnia  |  November 21 2012, 1:24PM

    People complain about MPs and expenses, MPs being parachuted in and then THEY VOTE FOR THEM purely because of the colour of their rosette. Barmy people get what they deserve and Boles is a prime example.

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  • eatmygoal  |  November 21 2012, 12:26PM

    Have to agree with Magic, M_C_Donald. If it is so bad having someone parachuted in then why vote for them? Fact is that he was what the constituents wanted so they have to take that he doesn't live there as part of that. However I do agree that it does seem lavish having a flat rented out when other accomodation could be found. I am in favour of expenses because I dread the day they are cancelled and we end up onky with MPs who are wealthy enough to support themselves. But taking advantage, legally but not morally, will bring an end to the expenses. I think the solution is to pay MPs a much higher basic salary, in line with what they would get in the business world.

  • peterke  |  November 21 2012, 11:28AM

    The only way out of thieving Westminster and i mean all Partys to have a General Strike and show them all who has the last say, and at the next election vote for one of the other Partys

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  • M_C_Donald  |  November 21 2012, 10:27AM

    MagicJohnson Both are at fault, but the system is as broke as the old Rotten Boroughs. Local parties are being told by Central Parties who they are to select as their candidates so that the central favourites stand in save seats. The greater fault lies with the political parties, I can understand why the electorate will want to side with a particular doctrine, but their representative is being forced on them at a local party level .

  • TB78WHlNE  |  November 21 2012, 10:15AM

    "How can a constituency be represented someone who doesn't even live there?" Since when does having an MP living in their constituency guarantee they're going to represent it anyway? *cough* Gillian Merron *cough*

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  • West_Lindsey  |  November 21 2012, 9:56AM

    When you see now what this MP claims for it makes his suggestion in the Telegraph that : "Free bus passes and prescriptions for pensioners should be means-tested", Look Stupid and demonstrates why the country continues to suffer from greed at the top.

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