Two of Bedford’s MPs have confirmed they will not be claiming the full £10,000 expenses allocations, to help MPs work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
While Richard Fuller has confirmed he will not be claiming anything, Mohammad Yasin MP has made one claim of under £50.
The additional £10,000 is on top of the existing £26,000 that MPs can claim per year to cover their office costs.
In a letter from Richard Lloyd, interim chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), told MPs, “We have agreed a series of immediate measures that we hope will provide you with the resources and flexibility to concentrate on your parliamentary duties and support your staff.”
The expenses are to cover costs for laptops, printers and additional electricity, heating and phone bills.
Richard Fuller, MP for NE Beds, said, “I was not consulted on this by IPSA – the quango that manages these things.
“My office will not be making any claims under this, but I do understand that some MPs who had staff usually working in Westminster full-time may need software, laptops etc… to enable people to work remotely.”
Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford & Kempston said, “IPSA have added £10,000 to the office costs budget for each MP to fund costs relating to the pandemic, including making sure all MPs and staff members can be set up for homeworking.
“As part of IPSA’s assurance work, they will be monitoring how the additional funding is spent, and all claims will be published as normal in line with IPSA’s publication policy.
“Currently, as we already use laptops on a day to day basis within the office, my staff have been able to continue to use these at home, and I have needed to claim less than £50 to date on additional resources for me or my staff.
“It is vital that all MPs staff, including mine, who are working flat out during this crisis to support the constituents of Bedford and Kempston during these exceptionally challenging times, can do so safely and comfortably, with appropriate technology in place.
“The additional funds have been provided to ensure that MPs can make these necessary arrangements, if needed.”