LibDems claim £140,217
Labour MPs claim £136,116
Tory MPs claim £131,275
This breakdown of the second home allowance graphically shows how MP’s milk the system. Over half of them claim within 10% of the maximum £23,083 allowed…funny that…
UPDATE : Jacqui Smith claimed £135 under the maximum £23,083. Tsk, tsk.
Note that the anger MPs are feeling about the expenses revelations is directed not at those MPs who are abusing the system and bringing them all into disrepute, but at those who are exposing them. Labour MPs are convinced there is a “Tory mole”* in the fees office, others think that digitised versions of their soon to be released receipts are being shopped around the papers.
MPs are after blood – the blood of the whistle blowers rather than the blood of those robbing the public.
That is how morally compromised they are, no longer able to see that what they are doing is wrong. They just want to stop the sunlight shining on their dodgy practises.
*Having been involved in a few of these expense fiddle stories coming to light, MPs should realise that the sources are often constituents, outraged staff, disgusted civil servants, sometimes rival politicians from the same party and often the result of plain old digging. Politicians are now widely despised as a class, don’t be surprised that your dirty secrets are becoming public knowledge.
Audience Member: “Do you think Fred Goodwin should give some of his pension back Eric?”
Eric Pickles: “Yeah, I do.”
Audience Member: “Right – that’s because he’s behaved immorally, unreasonably perhaps. But he’s played within the rules! Don’t you think that’s a bit hypocritical?”
Eric Pickles: “I had my flat – I bought my flat when we regularly sitting until two in the morning. I bought my flat when we did that. I bought that flat because it turned out –“
[Audience member: “sell it!”]
Eric Pickles: “OK well I’ll sell it. Of course I could sell it. I am never going to be able to satisfy you folks, at all, because I am an MP and therefore guilty.”
Pickles is right about MPs being guilty – they are almost all at it. Why should taxpayers pay him tens of thousands extra just because he doesn’t want a 37 mile commute? He claims he has to get up at 5.30 a.m. to be in the office for 9.30 a.m. – anyone would think he was cycling from Brentwood to Westminster it took him so long. It takes 80 minutes according to National Rail, less by car.
Many years ago when Guido slaved away in a City bond dealing room he used to be in the office for 6 a.m., often leaving after the close of the U.S. markets at 9 p.m. at night. Many of Guido’s co-workers were Essex boys who lived in the far wilds in places like Brentwood and had to commute further than 37 miles every day. It is just not on to expect the taxpayers to subsidise MP’s lazy piggy ways.
Harry Cohen is the chippy left-wing MP who disgraces the Leyton parliamentary seat once held by Winston Churchill. Harry claims more for his second home and expenses than any other MP in London, in fact his annual expense claims of £123,718 are £30,000 higher than neighbouring Walthamstow Labour MP Neil Gerrard’s claim of £92,228 and greater than Chingford Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith’s allowance of £104,222.
How does this troughing MP explain his porcine ways?
“I am almost certainly the most professional MP Leyton and Wanstead has ever had, and that includes Winston Churchill.”
Neighbouring Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard quite rightly does not claim mortgage expenses. Despite Leyton being a mere half an hour from Westminster on the Central Line tube, Harry Cohen claims the maximum tax free second home subsidy of £21,63.
The effrontery of this odious MP comparing himself to Winston Churchill is astounding. As the Guardian wittily points out: “One saved the nation. The other saves his receipts.”
Hat-tip : Waltham Forest Guardian
Guido went to school with Tony McNulty and it seems that some of the moral guidance he was given by the Irish priests has been lost on him after spending so long in Westminster.
The Mail on Sunday reports that the taxpayer is paying his parent’s housing costs – they live in his constituency home in Harrow (11 miles from Big Ben) while he lives in Hammersmith (3 miles from Westminster). Note that it is about half-an-hour on the Metropolitan tube line from his constituency home to Westmnster tube station. Why on earth in those circumstances should he need to avail himself of the second home allowance?
The remnants of a Catholic guilt complex have just about survived his years in the parliament of whores, because after being caught he told the Mail on Sunday that:
He then tried to muddy the issue by claiming that Tory frontbenchers also abuse the allowance – true – which breaks the terms of the ceasefire on this issue agreed by whips from both parties. He then backtracked and said “that is entirely appropriate.” They really are all at it.
McNulty has claimed over £100,000 from the allowance – despite him and his quangocrat wife receiving an income from the taxpayers of some £1/3 million a year. Do you think there is any chance he will repay it – if he thinks it inappropriate to claim it now – surely it was inappropriate in the past as well? Like Spelman he should have to repay what he cheated from the taxpayers and be grateful he isn’t facing charges for obtaining monies by deception.
Guido wants to remind readers that the parliamentary committee set up to review the system – following repeated exposure of MPs defrauding the taxpayers – is recommending that the rules be changed to make the fiddle permissable. MPs deciding MPs should continue to be able to get away with ripping off the taxpayers. They really do like to stick their snouts in the taxpayer’s trough and crap it out on the public.
With only 15% bothering to vote, only 60,048 (5.4%) out of a claimed membership of 1,096,51 voted to keep Derek Simpson in the bling style to which he is accustomed. Not exactly a resounding endorsement.
They gave her the benefit of the doubt. Spelman ironically contradicted herself in her own evidence and shot herself in the foot. [Full report here.]
Mrs Spelman told us that Mrs Haynes “would have been most interested in the take-home pay received for her employment as a whole.” In our view, this does not help Mrs Spelman’s case. Rather, it tends to support the Commissioner’s view that Mrs Haynes would have been unlikely to have worked as Mrs Spelman’s nanny without some separate financial remuneration. The fact that Mrs Haynes was paid nothing as Mrs Spelman’s nanny while she was also working and being paid as Mrs Spelman’s administration assistant, but after giving up the latter role was paid a salary as nanny of £13,000, is in our view telling.
Many would say that just demonstrates what a poor advocate she is, others would say she was just being honest. Nevertheless she hired her own nanny subsequently at the rate she was previously paying Tina Haynes out of our taxes.
Guido regards this as a victory over the piggies, it established the principle that wrongfully claimed expenses – even if “inadvertently” claimed – must be repaid. Take note Jacqui. So now what do we do about the Wintertons?
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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:
“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”
Christie Malry @fcablog
Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops