MPs have been offered up to £10,000 in expenses to help them work from home during the coronavirus crisis.

The Times reports that the bumper fund, on top of the standard office budget of £26,000, is to be used to pay for equipment including laptops and printers, as well as to cover increased electricity, heating and phone charges.

Published last month, the new guidance from the Westminster expenses regulator increases the credit limit on MPs’ payment cards to £10,000.

The single transaction limit has been raised to £5000.

Aside from the increase, The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has also introduced more lenient rules on the evidence MPs have to present and suspended the 90-day window for claims.

The funds can be spent on staff, but MPs are free to claim it for their own expenses.

In a letter to MPS, Ipsa interim chairman Richard Lloyd wrote: “We have agreed a series of immediate measures that we hope will provide you with the resources and flexibility to concentrate on your parliamentary duties and support your staff.”

James Roberts, political director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which campaigns for lower public spending, told the Times: “While it’s reasonable for MPs’ staff to have access to the equipment they need to work from home during this crisis, politicians should take care to use the cash properly and avoid it being seen as a personal equipment slush fund.”

As of this month, MPs are receiving a pay rise of 3.1%,with their basic salary rising from £79,468 to £81,932.

It is the first time MPs’ salaries have exceeded £80,000 and is an increase of £16,194 compared to the £65,738 salary in April 2010.

As part of the new deal, MPs also received an extra £25,000 for their staff.