Comment from Mike Truman, editor of LexisNexis Taxation Magazine
Whilst Mr McNulty says he has not broken the rules, Mike Truman, the editor of LexisNexis Taxation Magazine says that the position may not be so clear.
‘The allowance which Mr McNulty claimed is meant to cover the necessary expense of staying away from his main home overnight. It appears that in Mr McNulty’s case the main reason for the expense was to provide his parents with a home. That does not seem to me to fall within the letter of the rules, let alone the spirit of them.’
Mr Truman called for the special tax exemption on MPs' expenses to be abolished, and for HM Revenue & Customs to be asked for a ruling on what expenses could properly be paid to MPs. 'They like to claim that their job is unlike any other, and therefore justifies a unique tax regime,' he said. 'In fact, they are in much the same position as many sales executives in business who have to visit their head office in London once or twice a week, but spend the rest of their time visiting clients in the area they cover. The expenses they can claim tax free should be the same as well.'