Fiona Bruce polls Question Time audience on general election
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A Conservative Minister has argued that Liz Truss should not claim the Public Duty Costs Allowance (PDCA) allowance currently set at £115,000 to which all former Prime Ministers are entitled. The allowance is designed to help former Prime Ministers who are still active in public life with funds to be used to fulfill public engagements.
A woman in the Question Time audience in Horsham asked the panel if it was right for the South West Norfolk MP to take the allowance given her short tenure in office and the economic chaos that occurred following Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini budget.
She said: “With the current crisis and us going into recession, should it be right that Liz Truss or any ex PM still gets the allowance year after year?
“For placing the UK in the economic mess that we’re in?”
Responding to the woman’s question Police Minister Chris Philp said that he didn’t think that Ms Truss should take the allowance given her short tenure in office.
He said: “I think the allowance is to pay for office costs.
“So I’ve got to say having been in office for like 45 days or whatever it was, it does seem pretty unreasonable to be claiming it and I hope she doesn’t.”
The PDCA was created by former prime minister John Major in March 1991 a few months after the resignation of Margaret Thatcher.
It is meant to act an reimbursement of incurred expenses for office costs and secretarial costs “arising from their special position in public life”.
This could include salaries for staff or travel expenses to events when they are appearing as a former PM.
However it is not designed to cover private or parliamentary duties.
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Since leaving Downing Street Mr Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May have all claimed the allowance.
As recent figures have no yet been published it is not known if Boris Johnson has claimed the allowance.
However former PMs do not always claim the full amount, which has been frozen since 2011.
In 2020-21 Mr Major and Mr Blair claimed the full amount while Mr Brown claimed £114,712, Mr Cameron £113,423 and Mrs May £57,382.
The allowance is not paid automatically and former PMs need to provide receipts.
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