MPs told they can EXPENSE CHRISTMAS PARTIES for staff

Festive decorations and food will be expensed, but alcohol is not permitted

Published

MPs have been told for the first time they can expense the cost of food and drink for Christmas staff parties to taxpayers.

But the “hospitality” claims cannot include alcoholic beverages, guidance from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) states.

MPs have been told for the first time they can expense the cost of food and drink for Christmas staff parties to taxpayers.
MPs have been told for the first time they can expense the cost of food and drink for Christmas staff parties to taxpayers.

The expenses watchdog issued the advice in response to “frequently asked questions” about how MPs and their staff can celebrate during the festive season.

Ipsa confirmed that “MPs can claim the costs of food and refreshments for an office festive” in their parliamentary or constituency offices, but warned “no claims are allowed for alcohol”.

The cost of “festive decorations for their office” can also be claimed, the guidance first reported by the Daily Mail says.

But MPs were told that any claims “should represent value for money, especially in the current economic climate”, as millions feel the strain of a cost-of-living crisis.

The “hospitality” claims cannot include alcoholic beverages
The “hospitality” claims cannot include alcoholic beverages

Labour MP Jess Philips has criticised the move, tweeting: "I will throw a Christmas party for my staff, it will be in my home where I will cook and pay for all of the food and drink. Once again I reiterate that there was no clamour for this from MPs and it's stupid."