OUTRAGE has erupted after it was revealed more than 160 MPs have made a profit selling houses public money helped to pay for.
As much as £42million could have been made from selling these properties. Among those unveiled are Environmental Secretary Michael Gove, who made £870,000 on two homes, ex-Cabinet minister Maria Miller, who raked in more than £1.3million, according to the Daily Mirror. Tory chairman Graham Brady and Labour MP Hugh Bayley also pocketed money in this way.
Under parliamentary rules they are entitled to keep the money, but with trust in politicians at rock bottom critics have said they should hand the money back to the Treasury.
Campaigners have demanded that MPs in the spotlight of this scandal pay back the cash they made from their subsidised homes.
It has been said it would be the “right thing to do”.
A Daily Mirror investigation found that MPs made an average profit of £255,000 on selling their homes.
Of the 20 who made more than £500,000 in gross profit, 14 are Tories and six are from Labour.
Fourteen MPs sold two of these properties.
Labour MPs made an average of £193,000 profit on sales, while Tories averaged nearly double this – £417,000.
The properties in question are ones which politicians reclaimed thousands of pounds in mortgage interest payments under the discredited old expenses system.
Former chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life Sir Alistair Graham said: “People should not be making a profit.
“It was there to help them meet their public responsibilities. You should not be profiting out of special taxpayer funds.
“You should repay any gain you made over that period.”
He added: “The arrangement was made purely to take into account MPs who came from the north who would struggle to meet the housing costs.
“It would need to be carefully calculated but Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has done this before and they can do it again.
“I don’t think anything will restore trust, it’s at such a low ebb, but it’s the right thing to do.”
Former MP and ethics campaigner Martin Bell said: “It’s an open and shut case, of course, they should pay it back.
“There is the spirit of the law, why are they making a personal profit from allowances which they receive from the taxpayer? In this case they very clearly are.
“I think it is only right and in the public interest that MPs are not seen to make a profit out of public money.”