Although MPs are supposed to be setting the rest of the country an example of how to save money on travel, it has been revealed that a quarter of MPs are still claiming first class train travel as an expense. Among those who prefer the taxpayer to pay for their luxury travel rather than sit with them in standard class are Cabinet Office Minister Norman Baker, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Patrick McGoughlin, the Transport Minister.
The revelation comes as Chancellor George Osborne has again been observed trying to sit in first class with a standard class ticket. The minister was apparently spotted by a journalist who tweeted that Mr Osborne was trying to blag a first class seat.
The accusation has been denied by one of his aides who claims Mr Osborne had always intended to pay for an upgrade. It has been shown that 185 MPs have claimed money back after buying first class train journeys even though the government said in 2009 that such practices were unacceptable.
Taxpayers’ Alliance head, Matthew Sinclair, said it was unfair that commuters were being forced to hand over money for standard tickets while MPs were spending the taxpayers’ cash for luxury seats.
A source close to the Chancellor said he had chosen to move to first class because economy was crowded. He then apparently paid £189.90 to upgrade two tickets.