Claire Perry
© Reuters
Energy minister Claire Perry claimed £9,846 for her kids aged 17, 19 and 22
Some MPs are claiming nearly £10,000 in expenses for 'dependent children' who are 18 or older and are studying at university.

They're entitled to up to £5,400 per child as a second home expense under guidelines designed to help MPs with families rent larger homes. But many are topping up their £22,760 standard rental allowance by claiming for children in their 20s.

Energy Minister Claire Perry is said to have claimed £9,846 for her three children aged 17, 19 and 22, the Telegraph reports. The MP for Devizes who earns £111,148 a year insists all claims were compliant with expenses watchdog the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

Although the age limit for claiming for children is 18, it goes up to 21 under certain circumstances including for children in full-time education who need care. The Telegraph identified five other MPs who were also reportedly claiming allowances for adult children, two of whom have since agreed to return the money.

Ipsa drew criticism for not being able to say which MPs had broken the rules and appeared to rely on their word.

Gill Furniss
© PA
Labour MP Gill Furniss didn’t say what the £91 she claimed in 2017/18 was for
Although many MPs are operating within the rules, questions are being raised over whether it is right for them to take advantage of a system meant for young families. Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the parliamentary standards committee said: 'One despairs that after ten years MPs have not learnt the fundamental ethical lessons of the 2009 scandal over expenses.'

MPs were previously able to claim up to £24,000 for interest payments on mortgages for second homes. But since the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009 the rules were changed so that MPs can only claim for rent.

The annual rent allowance was initially just over £17,000 and children were only considered 'dependent' if they were five or under. But MPs fought back against this and said they were not supportive enough and got the allowance up to more than £22,000. The allowance per child was upped from £2,425 to £5,435 in 2017, meaning an MP with three dependent children could claim up to £40,000 a year for a London home.

Rebecca Pow
© Richard Gardner/REX/Shutterstock
Tory MP Rebecca Pow has agreed to pay £629 back
Government aide Rebecca Pow claimed £629 in 2017/18 for her children who are all in their twenties and has since agreed to pay the money back.

In 2017 Jack Lopresti, who lives with his wife and fellow MP Andrea Jenkyns, registered to claim up to £10,870 for two dependent children.

The aide to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said they were over 18 and from his previous marriage and has since owned up to the 'error' and repaid the £202 he claimed. Labour's Gill Furniss has registered one of her children as dependent but they are all aged 19 to 34. She declined to explain what the £91 she claimed in 2017/18 was for.