MP follows path of simplicity by living on £5 a day

By staff writers
October 26, 2009

A Leicestershire MP has been spending the first few weeks of the political year, the month of October, living on £5 a day.

Andy Reed, Labour MP for Loughborough, spent the parliamentary recess analysing how he spends his time and money in a “life audit,” with the aim of developing a more environmentally sustainable, healthy and generous lifestyle.

He kick-started this new lifestyle by taking part in the Evangelical Alliance initiative 'Simplify', which asks people to spend a month living on a similar amount of money that they might have to spend if they were on benefits. He will donate the money he saves as a result of a simpler October to charity.

It follows similar initiatives in recent years from other church groups such as the Catholic Live Simply campaign and Greenbelt's Year of Living Generously.

“If the financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we have to learn to consume less,” said Andy Reed MP, who is secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics.

“When a recession hits and we face losing our jobs – a prospect that could be a reality for any MP as the election approaches – it’s good to re-evaluate what is really important.

“We can’t rely on politicians to save our planet, so I am planning on taking personal responsibility for my own lifestyle. If we are going to make a change it has to come from every individual in the UK, not just parliament.”

He has been blogging about his experiences on the Simplify website at

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