The Mirror newspaper has
launched an attack on eight ministers in new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s
cabinet, alleging that they all make money from renting out properties they own
while the taxpayer foots the bill for their own accommodation.
The report says that the
eight ministers claimed a total of £145,838 from taxpayers for properties they
live in while in London
yet each earns at least £10,000 in income as landlords.
The ministers named in the
report include Security Minister Brandon Lewis who claimed £21,795 for his own
living expenses while renting out his home in Essex, Defence Secretary Ben
Wallace who claimed £27,550 but lets out a flat in south west London and
Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly who it says “billed taxpayers
£14,400 while letting out a house in Lewisham, south east London – just seven
miles from Westminster.”
The article quotes
campaigners who call the eight “parasites” who are “abusing their positions to
cash in” but also stresses that none of them has broken any rules and that they
have declared their rental income on the public register of MPs interests.
While the newspaper’s
expose is interesting up to a point it really reveals nothing new, merely
drawing attention to the thorny issue regarding MPs pay and expenses which most
electors have probably been aware of for some time. Neither the newspaper nor
the campaigners it quotes offer any thoughts on what a solution might be.