This is Andy Burnham's Leigh constituency website.
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Burnham For Mayor
Monday, 25 May 2015
Statement on accomodation expenses
Like other MPs representing northern constituencies, and consistent with the rules set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Andy Burnham has to have additional accomodation in London to fufill his parliamentary duties. Andy Burnham was forced into the current arrangement when the rules changed and this has been fully open and transparent since 2012. He did not seek the current arrangement and he wishes to stress that he does not make any money from it. A full explanation of how it arose follows.
1. 10 years ago, Andy Burnham decided to take out a second mortgage to buy a flat in London. Amongst other things, this saved a considerable amount of money for the taxpayer as it allowed him to reduce his accommodation claims.
2. The Commons only ever funded the 'interest' part of the mortgage. Andy Burnham funded the repayment part as well as another mortgage on his main home in Leigh.
3. Early in the last Parliament, the expenses rules changed to stop claims against mortgages. Andy Burnham did not want to leave his flat but had no choice. He moved to another flat in the same area.
4. At that time, MPs that had claimed against mortgages were asked to pay a lump sum to the Commons in respect of any "indirect subsidy" that may have accrued from being helped to take out a mortgage on a property that had increased in value. Andy Burnham did this in instalments over the last Parliament.
5. At the point when the lump sum was paid, it was determined that any direct or indirect public subsidy in the property had been fully redeemed. The requirement to clear any possibility of subsidy was introduced precisely to protect MPs from the kind of allegations that have been made.
6. When Andy Burnham left his flat, he continued to have a mortgage on it. He has therefore had to rent it out. The rental income received only covers the costs, which include: service charge; letting/management fee; and maintenance. No money is made from renting out the flat.