A £23,000 tax-free grant for MPs

PigstroughThe Times reports that MPs are asking for a £23,000 grant so that they do not have to submit expenses claims and receipts, and can avoid the details becoming public:

"Days after the High Court ordered the publication of every receipt submitted by MPs, a committee reviewing parliamentary expenses is proposing that they should be able to claim the full £23,000 second-home allowance automatically as an annual “block grant”.

This would end the principle whereby MPs are compensated only for “costs incurred” and give nearly 250 MPs who claim less than £23,000 a substantial tax-free income boost."

Normally this kind of thing would not be allowed by HMRC.  It is an increase in pay by any other name and would therefore be taxed.  Will the authorities allow there to be one rule for the politicians, another for the rest of us?  Or will taxpayers be asked to cover the new grant and the tax on it?

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