This rent-swapping malarkey is bringing out some statements that remind you just how out of touch Members of Parliament can be. Some MPs might be admitting their guilt but expenses-hungry LibDem Don Foster is playing dumb. The sanctimonious self-serving communities minister even talks about himself in the third person:
“I genuinely don’t quite know what the story is. I used to live in a property that I owned in Westminster, and I was able under the previous rules to claim the interest on the mortgage. When IPSA changed the rules I was no longer able to do that so I had to move into rented property, and I could have sold the flat or rented it out. It is mine, I paid for it, and I chose at the bottom of the market to rent it, and that is what I currently do. I may one day sell it, or may carry on renting it out. It is an absolute disgrace that we have a system that says Don Foster can’t live in a property he owns, and claim about £400 per month less than he currently claims. They changed the rule to make it look supposedly better, but it has cost the taxpayer hundreds of pounds more per MP than it needed to have done just to look good, and I have absolutely no idea what it is I am doing wrong.”
The old flat might belong to Don, however he didn’t pay for it, taxpayers paid for it for years. The new system expects MPs to pay their own mortgage on properties they own. What Don is doing wrong is “contriving a tenancy” to maximise his expenses. As the property is yours Don, as you so proudly state, then why not live in it and pay to do so out of your salary? Why should the taxpayer pay for you to rent when you have you own property already? Foster refused to respond to Guido over the weekend.
Foster is despised by many is his student-packed constituency of Bath as a result of his refusal to address the university following the tuition fees u-turn. Other prospective LibDem candidates have already been sniffing around in anticipation that Foster may stand down at the next election. The fact that he is a shamed rent-swapper may hasten his demise…