MPs claim for rent paid to children
A MARRIED couple who are both Tory MPs are using allowances funded by the taxpayer to rent a flat from their own children.
In an arrangement which helps avoid inheritance tax, Sir Nicholas Winterton and his wife Ann have put the London property into a trust set up for their offspring.
Because it no longer belongs to them, they have been able to claim £165,826 to stay there, passing the cash to the trust in the form of rent.
But Commons rules say MPs should not use the accommodation allowance to lease property from themselves, or any organisation they, or their relatives, have an interest in.
The Wintertons’ arrangement, detailed in The Mail on Sunday today, concerns a flat on Greycoat Street, Westminster. Their £195,000 mortgage was paid off by February 2002, when the flat was transferred to the trust.
Under Commons rules, the couple would have been unable to continue claiming accommodation expenses after the mortgage had been paid off had they kept the property in their own names.
Their children have benefited from the rent, and a reduction in liability for inheritance tax.
Sir Nicholas said: “I see nothing unethical or wrong . . . it was agreed by the Commons Fees Office. I happen to rent a property that I bought outright.”
Does this man lack any common sense or propriety?
What do you think?