Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
Why are MPs getting extra £10k in expenses while businesses are collapsing, asks Nick Ferrari
9 April 2020, 09:49 | Updated: 9 April 2020, 09:57
MPs are being offered an additional £10,000 in expenses to help them work from home. Is that wise while businesses are collapsing, Nick Ferrari asked the Culture Secretary.
Members have had their expenses limit increased by £10,0000 to help set themselves up for for remote working during the coronavirus lockdown.
Nick asked: "I note that you and all MPs will be offered an extra £10,000 each to support you while you work from home. Seeing as a lot of people are in dire financial straits, how wise is that amount of money to be offered to you and others?"
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden responded: "The way you say it is £10,000 coming into my pocket. This is £10,000 determined by IPSA, the Independent Parliamentary Authority who make recommendations about the resources needed to support our constituents.
"At a time when we are having a huge amount of case work - I've certainly got vast amounts of people who are contacting me with concerns over coronavirus. This money is being used to help ramp up the capacity of MPs to deal with it.
"It's not benefitting MPs personally. It's ensuring they have the capacity to deal with these challenges."
Nick told him: "But this is when businesses are collapsing, Mr Dowden."
The Culture Secretary insisted: "I should emphasise that the government has no say over decisions of resources for Members of Parliament."
Watch their discussion at the top of the page.