Question - What is the designation of an MPs first home ?

Please send your comments in on this simple question.

Should an MP have their first home in the part of the world they represent in parliament (not necessarily in the constituency, but locally) or should their first home be in London (if they are not a London MP).

Then the logical second question is, is your first home where your children go to school ?

Please comment and let me know your views.


Michael Gradwell said...

Could it be that the first home is the one in which you live with your family? It may even be in the consituency that you represent. Something tells me that the home near Westminster is the second home but if I was told that I would get a lot more money to reverse the names then I am sure that I could find a few reasons to change my mind.

TJUK2008 said...

Nich, you ask the question presumably because of the Liz Truss article in today's EDP?

Brian E. said...

Deciding which is their first home is difficult, but at least the general Civil Service rules (as applied before I retired) should provide guidance.
These are essentially, on your first appointment, you have to travel, and/or move closer to your place of work at your own expense. The Service will pay for any costs involved in travelling to some other destination when necessary in connection with your work, but they would expect to deduct from these your normal home to office costs (a season ticket to the office had its advantages!). Overnight expenses were only payable if it was absolutely necessary to stay overnight, ie if it was impractical to return home the same day, and the allowance was limited to a specified class of hotel. If you were obliged to stay at this alternative location for longer than some specified time, you were reduced to "lodging allowance" and obliged to find "digs" locally. Any question of taking your family was out of the question, and if by chance you managed to take your wife in the car and get a double room within your allowance, there was serious trouble if it was discovered!
I can't see why similar rules shouldn't apply to MPs as to their employees.

Anonymous said...

London. The whole expenses scandal seems to have been caused by a change in the rules in 2004-previously MPs had to claim their London home as their first home,and I think the law should revert.

Stephen Glenn said...

Difficult way to split it the way you word it.

I would say if there is family it should be the one where the children are based for school, whether in London or in the locality of the constituency. Not all MPs any longer spend the week away from the family but have them with them in London.

If there is no family involved it should be the home in the locality of the constiuency.

The reasoning for this is that the second home should be the bolt hole where the MP has to go to do the work that is required of them to carry out the work of the constituents in the other location. If you family are going to school in London it would obviously be the main home as the children will be needing the space to do their homework etc

Norfolk Blogger said...

TJUK, I am posting this in relation to the Liz Truss business.

Her children, not yet at school, are apparently going to be going to school in London when they start, which seems to indicate to me that Norfolk will not be her main base or first home.

It certainly willhelp any campaign by an independent Norfolk based candidate who wants to stand against her.

Anonymous said...

The job is representing the constituency in London so the first home is in London.

Iain Dale said...

Nich, I cannot think for the life of me why you used the caveat "(not necessarily in the constituency, but locally)"!!!



jailhouselawyer said...

We have the first home, second home, and don't forget the love shack!

So, Lord Ashcroft's jet flies over Norfolk and David Cameron pushes Liz Truss out of the door with her parachute.

It would be good if the people of Norfolk chose not to have a so-called representative foisted upon them.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, I think the Tory selected in front of you in Bracknell likes close to, but not within the constituency.

I think we all know that living in the locality (especially in places like Norfolk, Suffolk, Cornwall, etc, counts for a lot.

Iain Dale said...

Indeed so. Imagine if I got selected in Orpington and continue to live 18 miles away in Tunbridge Wells. Just imagine what the Orpington LibDem candidate will say. I just wonder.

None of the above said...

In the constituency of course

TJUK2008 said...

Nich, I don't need to look for, or support an independent candidate, I will be supporting Peter Smith, who was selected as a candidate a long while ago, lives in the constituency in Downham Market, Norfolk roots etc etc and I'm all the more motivated to support him following Truss's selection, and the news that her kids will be staying in London, I doubt she'll be here at all!! As Peter continues going round the constituency, it is clear that people want a local candidate. :) TJ

James said...

Interesting that you refer to a 'first' home rather than a 'main' home.
I have noticed in the published expenses on the Parliament site the inconsistancy in the Council Tax claims. The ACA is for the 'second' home. But apparently parliament rules and council tax rules are different.Many MPs including Cameron claim the usual 10% second home discount most councils give (councils must give between 50% to 10% discount on second homes)Many MPs do not claim any discount. However there are many MPs including James Paice,Stephen O'Brien, Marsha Singh and Lorely Burt who claim the 25% single occupancy discount on their council tax. This can only be given if the property is their main home(for council tax purposes you can only have one main home)So these MPs are telling the relevant council that this is the property they live in the majority of the time. Yet these properties are claimed for as 'second' homes for expense purposes and apparently within the rules. One wonders why they bother to ensure they obtain this 25% SOD when the taxpayer picks up the tab regardless of any discount claimed? Perhaps it is because when they come to sell (those who are buying), it helps prove this is their 'main' home to the Inland Revenue and thus avoid any capital gains tax? Even more strange, why do those MPs who rent both their main and second homes, as Nadine Dorries does, bother? Perhaps, as Ken Clarke stated in a Telegraph interview, it allows their spouse/partner/adult offspring to claim the single occupancy discount on the family home thus personally saving them hundreds of pounds.

Anonymous said...

The main or first home is where the heart is. And if you are a representative of Norfolk then that is where your heart should be! MP's are only in Westminster for four days a week and that is only when parliament is sitting which doesn't appear to be very often. But given that La Truss's hubbie has a job in London he aint coming up here to be the supportive spouse (dont blame him). They'll stay where his job is, she can use that as an excuse to hang around Westminster and SW Norfolk can go hang. If they don't do the sensible thing and vote for the Independent (we're waiting Nich) the people of SW Norfolk can run a Truss-o-meter measuring how many times she's spotted in the constituency. Trouble is up till then that other absentee MP Fraser is still the parliamentary representative and therefore responsible for surgeries, official visits etc. so there won't be many actual sightings of her - just carefully constructed press releases from CCHQ using smoke and mirrors to imply she is all over the constituency like a rash.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Youy'll be waiting a long time for me I'm afriad Mr Anonymous. Unless someone wants to ask very nicely !