This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.

16 May 2009

John Barrett MP - London ‘second home’ details

Following a request from the Edinburgh Evening News to detail the cost of my second home in London for the last four years, I have supplied the following information and I informed them I would also place it on my web site.   

Full details of sums for the year to April 2009 will be added to my website as soon as credit card details, etc, have been removed from the receipts.

I have lived in rented accommodation in London since being elected to Parliament in 2001. 

My family home has always been in Edinburgh and no charge has ever been made to Parliament for any costs, utility bills, repairs etc. relating to that home, which is a three bedroom semi-detached house in Corstorphine. My London flat consists of one bedroom, one sitting room, a kitchenette and a bathroom. In the average week when Parliament is sitting, I travel to London on a Monday afternoon and back to Edinburgh late Thursday. 

My rented accommodation was unfurnished and most essential furnishings were purchased seven years ago. 

The breakdown of accommodation costs for the past four years is as follows:

Year RentFoodUtilitiesCouncil taxCleaningInsuranceTV Licence
2004/5
£13,762
£2260
£221.62
£544.50
£640
£106.36
£126.00
2005/6
£13,019
£2260
£298.98
£593.10
£620
£111.49
£131.50
2006/7
£17,246
£2600
£244.27
£643.94
£850
£114.32
£131.50
2007/8
£19,075
£1740
£282.05
£749.84
£560
£114.32
£140.50

The reason the rent is lower in 2005, (although the rent increased to around £15,000), is that while I claimed for 3 months rent for April May and June 2005 a total of £3,444.28 (which I had paid to the landlord) but for which I was actually reimbursed £2535.89, as the rent during an election period is not paid by Parliament. My current rent is £20,000 per year. 

Furnishing of the flat during the period 2004 - 2008 cost £1373.70. I have personally contributed approximately this amount towards to the total cost since being elected.

A cleaner was employed for one to two hours per week, but is no longer employed.

Food costs are for eating out while in London and were charged at £20 per day, charged only when working at Parliament, but no longer being charged. For comparison, where a City Councillor is required to carry out council business outwith his or her own ward, or outwith council premises, the food allowance is breakfast £8, lunch £12 and dinner £25. The London Metropolitan University daily rate is "up to £40" which they state is reasonable for meals in London.

Utilities include for electricity and telephone line rental but not for any telephone charges.

John Barrett commented: 

“If MPs were provided with the tools to do the job - an office in London and the constituency, travel to Westminster, clerical support staff, IT, and a place to stay in London, there would be no need to claim for anything else. I would like to see these changes made as soon as possible, because I believe MPs should be spending their time dealing with the needs of their constituents.”

second home costs

second home costs

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.