Tuesday, April 21, 2009

At Last : Expense Fiddling Politician Charged

Tom Wise MEPAt last an expense fiddling politician is to face criminal charges for false accounting and money laundering, Tom Wise is the first MEP to face criminal charges over the abuse of Parliamentary expenses.  The former UKIP parlimentarian was arrested in June last year after it was revealed that he had allegedly siphoned off nearly £40,000 of public money by claiming it was for a researcher’s salary.

Wise will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court next Monday on charges that carry a maximum term of 14 years.  Guido would like to see Westminster Magistrates court kept busy with a few more cases of expense fiddling MPs from down the road.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maude-y Money

Guido has not yet seen the Channel 4 Dispatches about the Westminster Gravy Train produced by the excellent Heather Brooke.   Will watch the 8pm repeat tonight. Francis Maude is exposed for abusing the expenses system to buy a second property yards away from the one he already owns.  Something that didn’t come out in the broadcast (Guido had it on his to-do list) was confirmation of a persistent rumour that the property was rented out to Tory researchers, who are  of course themselves paid out of parliamentary expenses.  Double dipping in the trough…

UPDATE : Am told it is on at 2.25 a.m.- will record it instead.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Because She’s Worth It :Jacqui Gets Blue Plaque

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Clegg Horrifies MPs With Reform Proposals :MPs Would Have 3 Years to Sell Homes

Nick CleggNick Clegg had his constituency home renovated at our expense and claimed 100% of the maximum allowed expenses last year, so perhaps he has a guilty conscience. Nevertheless he has come up with some good reform proposals that most voters would welcome:

  • MPs would no longer be able to claim for mortgage interest payments, only rent.
  • MPs should be forced to sell their second homes and return profits to the taxpayer.  They would be given 36 months before Parliament refused to fund their mortgage interest payments. A proportion of the capital gain profits would have to be returned.

Clegg’s proposals would also see an end to taxpayers picking up the bill for flat screen TVs, furniture, building work and taxis.  Just utility bills and council tax would be paid for by the taxpayers. Mr & Mrs Balls, Mr & Mrs Keen, Mr & Mrs Winterton and Mr & Mrs Robinson would only be able to claim half each.  Guido’s heart bleeds for these millionaire troughers.

The Times reports that hair shirts would become compulsory wear:

Ministers with grace and favour accommodation, such as the Prime Minister and Chancellor, would not be allowed to claim rental on any additional property.  On travel, MPs would be permitted standard open return tickets when travelling to and from their constituencies. MPs’ salaries would not be raised while the country is still in recession.

Mr Clegg told The Times: “It is easy enough for politicians to talk about how the current system for pay and expenses needs to be changed, but what people want to know is what we are actually going to do about it.”

On the whole this is a basis that many would see as fair and in line with best practice in the private sector.  Guido would also like to see a “no receipt, no claim” system – as all of us in the private sector work on that basis – HMRC doesn’t believe taxpayers are honourable and the taxpayers no longer believe members of parliament are honourable.  Cameron’s proposals are expected next week, they should be no less stringent if he wants to be credible. The parliamentary gravy train needs to be halted…

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sorry for the Delay

In case you are wondering why Guido has yet to name and shame some more scamming MPs, it is not for lack of will.  They are being elusive – genuinely on holiday in some cases.   Would like to hear their explanations before putting them in the stocks.  Though am close to just outing without speaking to the MP who boasted he had 400,000 airmiles as a result of junkets and wouldn’t have to pay for his family holiday. 

You, know who you are…

Irish Politicians Take 10% Expenses Cut, Pensions Abolished

The Irish budget yesterday was a tough  budget.  The type of budget that in reality Britain needs to implement to get the economy back on track. Welfare cuts and tax hikes are never popular moves. Brian Lenihan, the finance minister, said right at the beginning of his speech

… before we ask anyone else to give, we in this House and in this Government must examine our own costs. Those of us in politics have been entrusted with a great privilege by the people. We must lead by example.

Irish politicians rightly feel they need to share the pain – pensions for serving politicians are to be discontinued and allowable expenses cut by 10% across the board.  The Irish President Mary McAleese has already announced that she will be taking a 10% pay cut in light of the current budgetary troubles. The finance Minister Brian Lenihan and his ministerial colleagues took a 10% wage cut last year. The opposition leader has instructed his party’s parliamentarians to take a 5% cut. The governor of the Irish Central Bank and Financial Services Authority has volunteered to also surrender 10% of pay. The state broadcaster RTÉ’s top six executives are taking a “significant reduction” in pay.

In contrast last week British MPs accepted a 2.33% pay rise

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

+++ New MP’s Scam Breaking +++

millionaire-mp-logoGuido is digging into a whole new seam of scams that have come to his notice. MPs are renting out buy-to-let properties that they own, to members of  their own staff, to whom they authorise payments out of parliamentary expenses.   Laundering their expenses via their staff back into their own pockets.

Like a Victorian mill owner paying his tenanted workers in their own coin to pay back in rent and spend in their tied shops.  Except MPs use our money…

UPDATE : Have just been given information about MPs renting properties to other MPs who claim for the rent on expenses, which they then pay into their MP mate’s pocket.  Nice.

+++ Developing +++

Monday, April 6, 2009

Politicians Take Us for April FoolsNew Green Book Insults Taxpayers

millionaire-mp-logoCameron, Clegg and Brown now say they will meet to discuss reforms of MP’s expenses – even though the last set of  “reforms” came into force only six days ago on April Fool’s Day.  It isn’t hard to see that first and foremost any measure that increases the income of MPs is not acceptable.

Guido’s inbox is over-flowing with evidence of politician’s financial fiddles.  High and low, Labour, Tory and LibDem alike.  Front bench, back bench, Peers of the Realm, left, right and centre.  They are nearly all at it.

Britain is in a recession verging on a depression, millions are hard-up. Yet politicians are becoming millionaires at the expense of the public.  How can they explain how someone who has never had a job in the productive part of the economy can become a millionaire?  They already have an all-in-package worth some £115,000* a year.  Despite already making five times average earnings they still want a pay rise.  How can they justify this greed?

Green Book of FiddlesThis level of looting of the public purse by supposed  public servants is grand larceny. It is on such a scale that we cannot possibly contemplate MPs themselves deciding on their own reforms.  The Speaker’s fix which saw them change the Green Book’s rules is an absolute insult.  How did they decide to tackle MP’s defrauding the taxpayer and claiming expenses that broke the rules? They scrapped the rules.  What was once financial fraud now becomes permissable. If you take the time to compare the old Green Book and the new Green Book (the April Fool’s Day reforms) you will see that instead of tightening things up, they have loosened things up.  Spitting in the faces of taxpayers who can do nothing because all the lawmakers are at it.

The revised “Green Book” is a licence for larceny:
‘The Green Book 2009′ : A Guide to Members’ allowancesPDF Document
The Green Book 2006′ : Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and PensionsPDF Document

They must think we are idiots – for them it is “Carry on Fiddling”, except it is no longer a fiddle, it is an entitlement within the rules.

*£115,00 is the pre-tax equivalent of all claimable personal permissable allowances. Do no be confused by MPs arguing speciously that most of their expenses are for staff. That amount is not included in the £115,000 figure. Bear in mind that a huge number of MPs also employ spouses, children, mistresses and cronies.

Even the Chancellor Cheats the Taxpayer

What hope is there when the Chancellor, who is responsible for the integrity of the public finances, is lining his pocket at the public’s expense?  In times gone by this would have been a resigning matter.  The Right “Honourable” Alistair Darling will no doubt tell us he has done nothing wrong.  Judge for yourself:

He has a choice of four homes; he is provided with two grace and favour homes at the public’s expense, he rents out his former private home (originally taxpayer funded) for his private profit and then he claims for his other home.   He has at  various times claimed that various houses were his main residence – in doing so he always maximised his claim for expenses.   Today he pays no housing expenses whatsoever out of his own pocket – anywhere – while the taxpayer pays for three properties for him and he rents out a fourth to make an extra profit. The condemnation is universal:

Last night, a spokeswoman for Mr Darling refused to comment on his expense claims. However, it previously emerged that until 2005 he claimed that a flat he shared with other Labour MPs was his “main home”. This allowed him to claim about £70,000 in expenses on his Edinburgh home where his wife and children lived.

It was then reported that he switched his formal declaration and told the Parliamentary authorities that the Edinburgh home was his main residence. This allowed him to claim for a London property and it is thought he bought a flat in the capital.

However, after becoming Chancellor in July 2007, Downing Street automatically became his main residence. It is thought that he then began claiming expenses again on the Edinburgh property and rented out the London home. In the 2007-08 financial year, Mr Darling claimed £9,837 in second-home expenses.

Mr Cameron said: “Given the state is effectively providing the minister with a second home, I can see no justification for them continuing to claim a second-home allowance. If elected I will make sure no Conservative minister with a grace-and-favour residence in London would be allowed to make a claim for a second home – including me.

“We have to sort this out now. No one will listen to politicians about anything if the impression is that they are living high on the hog off the back of taxpayers.”

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: ``It is clearly barmy for ministers to indulge in a form of double counting that enables them to enjoy two homes at the taxpayer’s expense.

“To say this is within the rules will only serve to convince the public that the rules are broken and need to be fixed as soon as possible.

Susie Squire of the Taxpayers’ Alliance added: “Alistair Darling has some serious questions to answer about his exploitation of the parliamentary allowances system. It’s very concerning that the man who is in charge of our money thinks it is appropriate to make a fast buck from the taxpayer. His behaviour is totally unacceptable.”

Go on, defend this Sir Michael White…

UPDATE : The London Evening Standard has discovered that Margaret Beckett is at it as well, she has three homes courtesy of the taxpayers.  Her caravan is (Guido believes) her own…

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up – MPs Spit in Our Faces

When Guido started his campaign against troughing MPs it was an occasional thing to to do a Sunday Sleaze Round-Up. Nowadays it is difficult to keep up with so many pigs in so much s**t:

Jacqui claimed for her barbecue as well as her kitchen sink to ‘help her perform her duties as an MP’.

MPs ‘not trusted’ to review their own pay and expenses according to the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

The News of the World has done a great video which seems to come from a familiar idea:

It accompanies their story on the husband and wife champion parliamentary troughing team to match and exceed the greedy pillaging of the taxpayers done by the Wintertons – the Robinsons. They get to trough in Westminster and at the Northern Ireland Assembly to the tune of an unbelievable £600,000 a year.

MPs have even claimed for their taxes out of your taxes. Genius. They charge stamp duty to expenses.

Guido has been shouting about the Green Book Rule changes which came into force on April Fools Day – and politicians really must take us for fools. To stop all the rule breaking by MPs they came up with a clever solution. Scrap the rules! Keep on troughing…

Finally Rudi Vis MP is retiring from troughing and will no longer be on burden on the taxpayers – just as soon as we finance his retirement home on expenses. Don’t forget to collect your gold-plated index-linked pension scheme…


Seen Elsewhere

Hunt Told Off By Former Head | TES
Scrap Tax on Family Flights | ConHome
Has May Declared War on Downing Street? | James Kirkup
The Nasty Left | Dan Hodges
Men Flock to UKIP | Andrew Cadman
London-Britain Divide | Alex Wickham
Pickles Puts Prezza’s Surplus Stationary to Use | Speccie
How Capitalists Can Win the Argument | CapX
Theresa May, or Maybe Not | Spectator Life
YouGov: Working Class Prefers UKIP to Labour | Times
Sainsbury’s Disowns Left-Wing Blogger | Mail


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


A ‘senior Conservative party official’ passes judgement on Theresa May:

“She is boring. A technocrat. She is Philip Hammond with a fanny. Not interesting, but rendered interesting by circumstance. And that circumstance is that she is a woman. And in an age when the Prime Minister gets it in the neck for refusing to wear a fucking T-shirt that says he is a feminist, that is a rocket boost right underneath you.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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