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Not Happy The John Lewis List - so this is what MP's are spendig our money on

MPs are coming under more pressure over their expenses after it emerged they can claim up to £22,000 to kit out second homes with luxury goods.

The taxpayer-funded perks mean they can claim up to £10,000 for a new kitchen and £6,335 for a bathroom suite.

MPs can also take advantage of their Parliamentary allowances to claim back £300 for air-conditioning units and £750 each for televisions and hi-fi units.

The items are contained in the "John Lewis list" - so-called because it is based on prices at the department store - which Commons officials use to approve or reject MPs' expenses claims.

The document was not even known to most MPs until recently because the Commons authorities feared they would take advantage of it and claim the maximum amount available.

Limits include £200 for a nest of tables, £500 for a dressing table, £550 for a fridge-freezer and £200 for a kitchen blender.

Carpets and wood flooring can be bought at £35 per square metre. Up to £300 can be claimed for a rug, £795 for a sideboard and £700 for a wardrobe.

MPs can also buy DVD players costing up to £270 and claim it back, as well as dry cleaning "within reasonable limits".

The document says that John Lewis is used as a guide because it "came out top of all retail shops" in the February 2007 edition of Which?, on cost, customer service and variety of goods.

The TaxPayers' Alliance said the prices were out of reach for many voters.

The campaigning group's chief executive, Matthew Elliott, said: "John Lewis is a fine store, but it is hardly the cheapest place to purchase household goods.

"How many ordinary taxpayers spend £1,500 on a TV and stereo when there are cheaper deals elsewhere?

"No wonder the Government wastes so much money, if MPs don't have to stick to a tight budget themselves."

Labour MP David Winnick urged a review of MPs' expenses to look into the price list.

"It does look rather expensive for a number of items and obviously the public will say: Why should John Lewis be the benchmark?" he said.

"The public need to be absolutely reassured that MPs are not exploiting the situation."

The release of the list comes amid heightened scrutiny of the issue of MPs' £135,000-a-year expenses in the wake of the Derek Conway affair.

The Members' Estimate Committee, chaired by Speaker Michael Martin, is currently conducting what it calls a "root and branch review" of the regime which may lead to reform of the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA).
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Re: The John Lewis List - so this is what MP's are spendig our money on

Who cares whether it's from John Lewis? The issue is that they should be able to kit out a second home on expenses AT ALL.
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Re: The John Lewis List - so this is what MP's are spendig our money on

I had an all expenses paid move care of the tax payer but this is extracting the urine
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Re: The John Lewis List - so this is what MP's are spendig our money on

£200 for a nest of tables in John Lewis, you'll be lucky my friend.
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