I\’m not sure I\’d get all that bothered over this (unlike last time I write about it when I didn\’t understand it):
The loophole works because MPs are allowed to claim the cost of a first-class ticket if it is cheaper than the standard class “any-time” fare – the most expensive standard class fare, available for short-notice journeys.
A first class ticket bought at short notice would be more expensive than this type of ticket, and could not be claimed on expenses.
However, if the MP buys the first class ticket in advance then compares the price to what the standard class fare would have been at short notice, the first class ticket can work out cheaper – allowing the cost to be claimed back from the taxpayer.
There\’s got to be some rule about what is allowable and that seems as good as any other. I\’ve done the same myself on the London Bath run a couple of times. First class on the weekends being empty near enough and therefore cheap. At times it\’s £5 over the standard fare. The only slight pisser is that there\’s no free coffee on the weekends.
And as to this:
Chinyelu Onwurah, a Labour member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has claimed for 13 first-class tickets worth either £254 or £294. The total cost was £3,627.
I really cannot get upset at our paying for someone to travel near the entire length of the kingdom for £300. It does seem reasonable enough that constituency to Parliament is paid for and that given the time it takes some space is available to spread out and work.
Of course, at the other end, I\’d be expecting the MP for Westminster to be walking to work and that for Streatham to be taking the Tube or something on the Sarf London railways. In second thank you Chuka.