Lord Freud, the minister for welfare reform

Lord Fraud has said that the benefits system available to MPs was “dreadful” and hindered MPs from “having a lifestyle” on the state.

The Tory peer, who (along with 650 other MPs and over 800 peers) is raging against the radical overhaul of the expenses system and IPSA, insisted he understood the necessity of living on expenses. He said: “We’ve got the circumstances now where… people who are paying tax should be prepared to subsidise the lifestyle of those in elected and unelected power – they’ve got least to lose.

“We have, through our new expenses system, created a system which has made MPs and peers reluctant to take risks, such as spending their salary like normal people, so we need to turn that on its head and make the system predictable so that MPs can have TVs, sofas and kitchens without using any of their own income.

“I think we have a dreadful expenses system.”

Lord FraudĀ dismissed the possibility of taking part in a television documentary which filmed him living without expenses for a week.

“I have thought of the issue,” he said. “The trouble is, it’s a stunt when someone like me does it because you do it for a week. That’s not the point. What would I live on? I mean, come on!”

He added: “I think you don’t have to be the corpse to go to a funeral, we employ ATOS for that.”

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