Andrew Gilligan and Paul Waugh have been digging into Ian Clement’s expense claims for restaurant meals charged to the public purse on a City Hall credit card. It appears he was taking out his mistress…
Hopefully Jim will have got his story straight by the time they ask him to explain the fake invoice from a fake company with a fake VAT number. He has given the Scottish press various explanations involving pubs and cash. That should work Jim… Not.
A TaxPayers’ Alliance/ComRes poll (report) asked 101 MEPs and 1020 members of the British public their opinions. One of the statements respondents were asked to agree or disagree with was a bit of a trap for those on the Brussels gravy-train
MEPs should pay a lower rate of income tax than the people they represent;
The public were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea that MEPs should enjoy lower taxes than their constituents, by 82% to 15%. 10% of MEPs were openly in favour of the proposition of lower taxes for themselves, whilst 75% were publicly opposed. Not so bad you think, they on the whole accept that all should be equal before the law.
Except MEPs have already voted for themselves a special tax rate. They say one thing to the public but vote in the opposite direction in the EU Parliament itself.
UPDATE : The BBC also polled the British public, finding that most people think most MPs are corrupt and when asked whether they trusted MPs to tell the truth, 20% said they did and 76% said they did not. Which shows the truth that of the saying “you can fool some 20% of the people all the time”….
62% said they believed MPs put their own self-interest ahead of the country and their constituents. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time…
Post links to sleaze stories in the comments and Guido will summarise them here. It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it…
Andy Burnham was assisted by the Common’s authorities who bent the rules after he got a bung from a property developer and managed to over-claim in the same year by £10,000. More support for Guido’s thesis that the Palace of Westminster is less about public service and more like gangster racketeering.
Eric Joyce has claimed over a million, paying zero capital gains tax on his property flipping over the years. He told the Mail on Sunday that this ‘This conversation may have cost me £160,000′, it will hopefully cost him his seat as well. Though he will have sworn year after year on his tax return that he was making a full and true statement. A criminal offence.
LibDem MP Malcolm Bruce managed to claim for two different properties simultaneously. Cleverly he put his wife on the payroll at his constituency home and used the incidental expenses provision to feather bed that home and the ACA to featherbed his London home. Guido thought he new every trick in the book by now, this is a new one. Bruce won’t tell us how much he paid his wife. Our money into his household income and he wants it to be kept secret?
Angela Browning, a former Tory minister, claimed £10,000 for her website, which looks like it took three hours to throw together. She claimed for the usual long list of interior design features including the kitchen sink (£2,714). Worse than Jacqui Smith…
Derek Conway tried to claim for a £160 pig-skin wallet. How appropriate.
The news isn’t all bad, according to the Sunday Times half the occupants of the parliament of whores could be swept away on the tide of righteous anger sweeping the nation. Guido is betting on 50 resigning or standing down in disgrace and perhaps a 100 more incumbents suffering the wrath of the fleeced voting taxpayers – over and above party swings. The Sunday Times reckons 325 troughers will be forced onto their index-linked gold-plated pensions. Guido’s heart bleeds…
He has sent out a statement to Conservative Party members in his constituency:
Message from Andrew.
15th May 2009
I wanted you to know immediately that this morning I resigned as David Cameron’s Senior Parliamentary and Political Adviser.
Guido has just got back from a hastily* called Tory press conference, where we were told by Dave that he has ordered:
… Michael Gove will pay back the £7,000 claimed for furniture. Oliver Letwin will pay back the £2,000
It is looting of the taxpayer. There is no other word for it. They are looters.[…]