Taxpayers will be paying for MPs to host lavish Christmas parties whereby they can claim “the cost of food and refreshments” whilst millions of households will struggle during the festive period.
Taxpayers money will be spent on “festive decorations” including Christmas cards The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has approved, but public money is not allowed to be spent on alcohol.
Under the guidance MPs parties must “represent value for money, especially in the current economic climate” and they will be expected to answer “frequently asked questions” in a document.
IPSA has been branded “irresponsible” by Labour MP Jess Phillips who slammed the news and said, “no one asked for this and no one I know will use it” whilst millions of households will be forced to chose between heating and eating.
The Foreign Secretary James Cleverly retweeted the post, which reads, “The guidance wasn’t made by MPs and yet we will be pilloried for it.
“I think it’s really irresponsible to issue this guidance as if MPs have been clamouring for it when I’ve literally never heard anyone do that.
“I have a tree in my office we dust off every year and decorations (tinsel and baubles from Wilkos) that I paid for.
“We have home made decorations made by kids in a local school and some knitted fairy lights garland made by a lovely local knitting group (again which I paid for).
“I will throw a Christmas party for my staff, it will be in my home where I will cook and pay for all of the food and drink.”
Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds, told Times Radio, “People have not been asking for this. I don’t think anyone will use it.
“This is our regulator … the independent body that runs the MPs’ expenses system, which is a system for staff and rent of your office and all of that kind of stuff, you know, being a little bit naive, to be honest, because if they publish stuff like this, you will get a story like this.
“I understand why people cover it in this way but I doubt anyone will be using it. People will not have been asking for it. And (maybe) Ipsa need to be a bit more savvy in terms of how they present what they’re doing on this.”
TaxPayers’ Alliance, spokesperson John O’Connell blasted that “MPs already get a plum deal without taxpayer-funded office jollies.”
He added, “While businesses and households in their constituencies pay for parties out of their own pockets, politicians get to dip into the public purse.
“MPs who want Christmas bashes should foot the bill themselves.”