New reports now show that the House of Commons Leader, Andrew Lansley, has racked up more than £6,000 in hotel expenses. He managed to spend this much despite the fact that his flat is just a short distance from Parliament. Official reports show that Lansley stayed dozens of nights in London using taxpayers’ money. This has raised a red flag since the minister has a £1 million flat in Pimlico.
This is just another example of the government starting to crack down on what ministers are spending. This goes double now since people are more concerned now than ever about how their tax money is being spent. People prefer their tax money go to fixing problems instead of giving Lansley a place to stay when he lives within walking distance of Parliament.
Supporters of Lansley say that it is possible that he rented out his flat near Pimlico. However, official Parliament records show that this is not the case. This is known because Lansley has not declared any kind of rental income for his flat on the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Thus, if he is renting it out, he has failed to follow orders and has not updated this report, which would be another problem altogether.
Reports show, however, that another one of his family members does live in the flat when Lansley is not there. That being said, the flat has more than one bedroom. So Lansley could save a lot of taxpayer’s money by simply staying at the flat when he needs to.
Of course, Lansley’s spending habits are not the only minister spending habits that have been put under the microscope. One of the main things that people have been looking at is travel expenses. Some members of the government are spending tons of money on travel. This is an issue that continues to grow.
It is not just government officials that are being put under the microscope either. The royal family has also had their travel spending habits reviewed. This has caused the royal family to change the way that they travel. In some cases, it has even caused them to cancel trips altogether.
The reports on Lansley also say that he claimed at least £4,978 on hotel stays between April 2012 and March of this year. On top of that, he spent at least £972 in the first three months of his financial year. Rules for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority say that Ministers are able to claim £150 per night for hotels in London. Also, their breakfasts are completely paid for if they stay in a hotel that does not cap the limit. When viewed in this light, Lansley did not break any of the rules that have been put in place for him.
Although Lansley did not break any rules, it is apparent that the government needs to review the rules on what ministers can spend. Brits have all had to change their spending habits, why should the ministers be any different?