Margaret Moran, Labour MP for Luton South, has announced she will pay back £22,500 claimed to treat dry rot in the house in Southampton (100 miles from her Luton constituency) that she shares with her partner as a result of “constituents’ anger at the current fees regime”. Constitutents anger with her more like.
Serfs cleared moats in feudal times, Douglas Hogg submitted a receipt to the fees office listing the £2,000 cost of clearing his moat, Sir Michael Spicer, claimed £5,650 in nine months for his gardening and hundreds of pounds for hanging a chandelier in his main manor house.
David Heathcoat-Amory makes us pay for his shit, literally, with £380 claimed for horse manure for his garden.
David Davis, who made his name as a hawkish fiscal disciplinarian on the Public Accounts Select Committee, disappointingly spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on doing up the house and buying soft furnishings.
Michael Ancram, (the Marquess of Lothian), claims tens of thousands for the upkeep of his £8 million of properties.
Sir Alan Haselhurst, the Deputy Speaker, claimed £142,119 for the upkeep of his country home, despite having no mortgage to pay.
James Arbuthnot and Stewart Jackson have the good sense to have promised last night to repay their pool cleaning claims. Notice this is only for a few hundred pounds, not exactly a great hardship.
Sorry won’t be enough. They should all pay back the money they have claimed for feather-bedding their nests. Members are responsible for the probity and propriety of claims submitted. This bluster about it all being approved by the Fees Office, therefore it is not down to the individual MP, is spin and an abdication of responsibility by those culpable. The rules are very clear, in signing for allowances, “the MP’s signature verifies that the expenditure was wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties”.
Swimming pools, roses and chandeliers are not necessary for the performance of an MP’s duties. We want our money back, sorry won’t be good enough. No matter how grand, no matter what the excuse, no matter which party. If they won’t give it back, we want them sacked.
Tebbit has chosen his words carefully, he says don’t vote for the major expense fiddling parties, don’t vote BNP, vote for the other minority protest parties. By that it is taken he means “Vote UKIP”. He could equally as well also mean Jury Team or Libertas. This could be an interesting euro-election…
It is looting of the taxpayer. There is no other word for it. They are looters.
Alan Duncan is going round telling broadcasters that he was the first MP to publish his receipts online and has always supported transparency. Go to his website and there is nothing published there about his expenses.
Eh? Guido called his office for an explanation. Tory HQ calls back with a load of waffle. He did, but he doesn’t now, it was published on an old website blah, blah, blah. When we get down to it, and Guido is reasonably certain about this, Alan Duncan did not publish his receipts for expenses. He merely published the annual totals. The same unrevealing annual expenditure totals published by the Fees Office for the last five years. So we didn’t discover from his “transparency” anything we can’t now get from the parliamentary website. Spin and bluster…
UPDATE : According to this archive Alan told us:
Additional Costs Allowance – Expenses Incurred by Staying in London
In line with parliamentary allowances, Alan claims £19,722 per year to cover the costs of maintaining a second home.
Not very informative or transparent is it?
PoliticsHome polled its PHI100 panel of Westminster insiders for their assessment this morning and on a scale of zero to 100 Hazel came out worst. Is this reallynot just a factor of visibility? Blears has behaved disgracefully, but twice as bad as the next sleaziest government minister? Hoon’s sleaziness seems grossly underestimated…
A. One. According to a claim made by “two brains” David Willets.
In the great scheme of things £100 for a workman to change 25 lightbulbs is trivial. What it does highlight is the undeserved sense of entitlement that politicians have. Whereas even a DIY dummy like Guido manages to change his own lightbulbs, politicians don’t need to worry about such trivia. They just charge it to the taxpayer.
Until that culture changes and politicians realise taxpayers are their masters not their benefactors we will continue to have a parliament of petty pick-pockets. Our pockets…
The promised guide to how to become a millionaire in politics has been delayed in order to incorporate a lot more information. Don’t worry it will be published, but it will be a lot more comprehensive than Guido first envisaged.
To be frank, Guido is being overwhelmed with sleaze. Dirt which has to be checked out, it all takes time. Wouldn’t want to give a fiddling politician the opportunity to sue over a mistake…