I'm a bit surprised this story hasn't gotten more play, but apparently MPs have decided they can use their taxpayer-provided, tax-free "meal allowances" to help pay mortgages on their Ottawa residences, should they own a second-home in the nation’s capital.
While I dislike knee-jerk reactionism on issues like MP pay raises and the like, this one is just stupid. They already get a daily accommodation allowance. This is a meal allowance, go to McDonald’s. If I recall, there’s one at the foot of Bank and Wellington. Also, I’d recommend the Marroush International Schwarma on the Sparks Street Mall, if it’s still there. It’s nonsense like this that breeds cynicism and disgust with politicians and politics.
This isn’t a partisan political thing, all parties would have to support this for it to be happening. Only Liberals were dumb enough to be quoted supporting it though, sometimes Harper’s control-freak tendencies pay dividends. The only Conservative quoted is the maverick Garth Turner and he’s against it.
Secret panel allows $75 per diem to help finance Ottawa houses
Tim Naumetz, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, July 03, 2006
The secret board of MPs that manages internal House of Commons affairs is allowing MPs who own a house or condo in Ottawa as their second home to pay down their mortgages with a $75 per diem intended for meals, the Citizen has learned.
The per diem is in addition to a $25 daily accommodation allowance MPs receive year-round if they own a second house or condominium in the capital, and using it to buy a home is allowed despite a rule forbidding mortgage payments from a separate $24,000 expense allowance.