Fleet News

MPs' £4m car perk

THE Government's environmental strategies have been labelled 'merely cosmetic' after it was revealed that MPs are claiming more than £4 million a year of taxpayers' money to cover their business mileage. MPs benefit from a generous business mileage system that takes little account of the environment and dwarfs the amounts paid to most employees who use their own cars on company business.

The majority of the UK's 657 MPs benefit from a Fixed Profit Car Scheme which allows them to claim 52.5p per mile tax-free for the first 20,000 miles in a financial year and 24.2p for each subsequent mile if they use their own car on parliamentary business. Under the Inland Revenue's FPCS, an employee using a 1.8-litre car for business mileage could claim only 45ppm for the first 4,000 miles, then 25ppm for subsequent use.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker attempted to reform the allowance system by tabling a motion in the House of Commons but it failed to receive Government support. Baker, who 'never' drives to Westminster, said: 'The motion's failure shows the Government's commitment to 'green' its operations is merely cosmetic.' A spokesman in the finance and administration department at the House of Commons said: 'About 600 MPs claim a mileage allowance and the vast majority of those are in the FPCS. Between them they claim approximately £4.5 million per year in mileage.' Averaged out, every MP claims about £7,000 a year.

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