+++ Speaker Loses High Court Expenses Cover-Up Bid +++

The High Court has ruled that a detailed breakdown of MPs’ additional costs allowances must be provided under the Freedom of Information Act.

So that was £100,000 of public money wasted on stopping the public finding out what happened to their money.

So now we will find out what all the party leaders fiddled claimed…

Multi-Millionaire Clegg Claims Tax Free Allowance99% of the Maximum Legally Allowed

So we wait 48 days for something that Nick Clegg said should be published immediately* and it breaks down as follows:

Additional Costs Allowance he claimed £23,083.00

100% of the maximum £23,083 legally allowed.

Incidental Expenses Provision claim £20,926.63

98% of the maximum £21,339 legally allowed.

Guido wonders why it took so long to add up. Does this restore your trust in politicans?

UPDATE : Checking the back of an envelope, at the 40% rate that is equivalent to gross pay of £74,036 on top of his salary – effectively doubling his salary for home improvements.

*”His “publish immediately” demand here. Detailed breakdown here.

+++ Committee on Standards and Privileges Rejects Speaker Taxi Complaint +++

Taxation is an Intrusion

The Speaker’s barrister yesterday told a High Court judge that forcing MPs to publish their exp­enses is a “substantial intrusion” into their private lives. Disclosing a detailed breakdown of their claims for running a second home, including addresses, might attract “the mad and the badThey might simply not want the world to know the details of how they were furnishing their home in some particular respect”, Nigel Griffin QC claimed.

The Devil puts it well on his blog:
Well, might I humbly suggest that—if this is the case—that MPs do not use taxpayers’ f***ing cash to buy their furnishings?

By all means remove the address if they are afraid of the people they supposedly represent – the important principle is that we should know what they are spending our money on. It is obvious that they really don’t like us watching them pigging out at the trough. They are clearly ashamed of their greed becoming publicly visible.

Dan Watson Fails to Board the Family Gravy Train

Sadly the trouncing Labour got in the local elections meant that Dan Watson, of Tom Watson’s West Midlands political clan, failed to get on the taxpayer’s gravy train.

Still the Watsons will just have to manage on the £300,000 or so they claim between them from the taxpayers..

UPDATE : A co-conspirator emails to tell Guido that Amy Watson’s candidacy saw a 25% fall in the Labour vote in Birmingham Kings Norton. Another £15,000 in expenses denied to the Watson family fortune.

Watson Family Fortunes – Good News / Bad News

Guido likes to bring good news when he can. Today’s good news is that following on from Guido’s revelation last week that Joanne Watson had pocketed £15,000 for attending four meetings, she has decided not to stand again “due to family commitments”. Nothing to do with Guido’s story being picked up by the local press and her being castigated as a result?

Still at a cost of £3,723 per meeting, local taxpayers will be more than relieved to see the back of her… However there is some bad news, another little Watson piggy wants to suckle on the teat of the taxpayer. Joanne’s husband, Dan Watson has announced that he is standing for the gravy train Broadwaters ward. He obviously won’t be helping out with family commitments. Well they have to make up the lost income somehow, don’t they?

Is there anyone in Tom Watson’s family who doesn’t have their snouts in the taxpayer’s trough?

That Won’t Do Nicely

No wonder the speaker is so keen to block the voters from finding out what is going on with parliamentary expenses. When not swanking around in limousines at the voter’s expense he flashes his House of Commons credit card to pick up the tab. It is absolutely breathtaking.

No need to dip into the £137,000 salary paid to the worst Speaker in living memory. It might be legal, it still stinks. The Speaker is overseeing the investigation into parliamentary expense padding, no wonder he wants to hide the truth from us. What will it take to shift the fiddler-in-chief?

How They Fiddle a Political Conference on the Taxpayer

Today’s conference has nothing at all to do with tomorrow’s conference. Total coincidence that there is a private conference on today and another one tomorrow. This is to keep within Civil Service rules about civil servants doing political work. Tomorrow’s thing is being organised by the Civil Service (paid for by you), whereas today’s is by the Policy Network, with funding that isn’t clear (except there’s a big shout-out to David Sainsbury in the program). That would be David Sainsbury who just shuffled some of his assets around last week to save himself £28 million in Capital Gains Taxes since Alistair hiked the rate 80%.

So these conferences are completely separate, got that? Different organisers, different logos, the whole lot. You even had to accredit twice, with different people. By an uncanny coincidence, of the sort that one sees all the time in real life, they feature the same people, meeting in the same place, under the same title (Progressive Governance). But they’re totally different things.

Just like when Gordon’s Smith Institute invited U.S. pollster Bob Shrum to outline an attack strategy against David Cameron to an invited audience of Polly Toynbee, Ed Balls, Dougie Alexander and the rest of the Brownies fan club in the media. That invite wasn’t from the independent non-partisan charity the Smith Institute. It was from the private limited company called the Smith Institute, 100% owned by the Trustees of the charity, from the same office, with the same people. But a totally different thing.

All the SpAds and ministers and security are at the conference on the public payroll. Guido would be surprised if other subsidies hadn’t slipped through. The same applies to all the foreign attendees as well. The Euro-gravy train has come, at their respective taxpayer’s expense, via the channel tunnel bringing the social democratic elite to wine and dine. They really know how to trough on the continent. The British taxpayer is picking up the tab for the European socialist’s weekend break in London courtesy of Gordon Brown. Bet you are happy about that…

Councillor Watson Claims £3,723 Per Meeting

Joanne Watson, a member of the Watson Family Clan, is a councillor in Sandwell. In the 2006-2007 municipal year she has managed to claim £14,894.20 in allowances for attending a total of 4 meetings.
That is an incredible average

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Halls of Residence for MPs?

Well if coppers, fireman and nurses can do it, why not MPs? What makes them so bloody special? They are just another public sector profession with housing problems. Plenty of cheap property over the river in South London, even

[…]

+ READ MORE +

TaxPayer’s Alliance forces Sleaze InvestigationInto Speaker’s Expenses

Click to enlarge.

The TaxPayer’s Alliance has struck a blow against the Speaker putting his snout deeply in the trough. Excellent news. If he is found to have abused the system he will have to go. He has no authority

[…]

+ READ MORE +

LibDemVoice has a copy of a press release from Nick Clegg about the speaker blocking the full publication of MP’s expenses in full.

“There are legitimate grounds for appealing the decision to publish private addresses. However, there is no earthly

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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