359 Lords-a-Fiddlin’

Sam Coates in The Times has another research based snouts-in-the-trough piece. The evidence is that at least 359 Lords, that is the majority of the them, are fiddling their expenses. The evidence whilst circumstantial is particularly compelling. Can it be a coincidence that, according to the article;
  • 359 of the 550 Lords who claimed “day subsistence” — a £78.50 payment for meals and taxis — claimed the maximum on 95%of occasions or more.
  • 272 of the 406 peers who live outside London and claim “overnight subsistence” for hotels — worth £159.50 — claimed the maximum on 95% of occasions or more.
  • 338 of 514 Lords who claim office expenses, worth £69 a day, claimed the maximum on 95% of occasions or more. Unlike the House of Commons, secretarial costs are paid to the peer to distribute.
Essentially this is a tax-free fiddle with no receipts required. Guido has pointed to the prevalence of this fiddle before. Many of the same peers, particularly Labour ones, also get on a few Quangos as well to pad out their retirement as if the gold-plated, non-contributory pension benefits they voted themselves when they were MPs were not enough already. The gravy train flows thick and fast for many ennobled MPs.

What particularly irks and disgusts Guido, is that they claim £78.50 for “subsistence meals” per day and children in state schools get meals costing 40p per day. Shows their real priorities doesn’t it? They really know how to look after themselves don’t they?

MPs Expenses – A New Hero Emerges

MPs expense figures have just been released.* Philip Hollobone (Con, Kettering) is the least expensive MP coming in at under £44,551. Liam Byrne (Lab, Birmingham Hodge Hill) is four times as expensive at £178,116.

Guido called Hollobone’s office to try and figure out the anomaly:

Guido Fawkes “Is Hollobone there?”
Office “Yes.”
Guido Fawkes “Can I speak to him?”
Office “Yes.”
Guido Fawkes “Thanks.”
Guido waits patiently.
Office “It is me.”

It turns out that the reason he is some £23,340 cheaper than even Dennis Skinner (£67,891) is that he doesn’t employ any office staff. He answers his own correspondence (he can type) and he says dealing with constituents is his favourite part of the job. So it is no surprise that he is rated in the top decile for responsiveness by WriteToThem.com, whereas Liam Byrne, despite all his staff and great expense, comes 158th.

According to data from TheyWorkForYou.com, Philip Hollobone

  • Has spoken in 105 debates in the last year — well above average amongst MPs.
  • Has received answers to 194 written questions in the last year — well above average amongst MPs.
  • Is a member of 2 select committees.
  • Replied within 2 or 3 weeks to a very high number of messages sent via WriteToThem.com during 2006, according to constituents.
  • Has voted in 87% of votes in parliament — well above average amongst MPs.

How is it that he can be an excellent constituency MP for a third of the average cost of the rest?

*Thanks to Bloomberg for doing the number crunching.

What Did They Do With Gisela?

This morning Quentin Letts in his sketch wonders what the Labour whips did to Gisela Gordon is Lying Stuart during Brown’s EU treaty statement yesterday. He points out that she was noticeably missing despite having helped on the drafting committee for the EU constitution. Jack Straw (pictured here) chose her to be on Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s committee when he was Foreign Secretary. Quentin is therefore looking for her:-
Lost: one feline Labour MP, sleek coat, answers to the name of Gisela Stuart (Edgbaston). If you see this much-stroked pussy please ring to say she is all right.

The slimey Kaufman had a go at her yesterday as well, he spoke of how some MPs were prepared to write “well remunerated articles” in the Press, and how they “prefer money to the truth”. Rich coming from him, as you can see by studying the register of interests.

Some MPs do television for free, but not him. Here are Gerald’s recent declared media fees: BBC (Up to £5,000), Daily Mail (Up to £5,000), Mail on Sunday (Up to £5,000), Evening Standard (Up to £5,000), Fees from the Telegraph Group. (Up to £5,000), The Scotsman, News International, (Up to £5,000). Massive pot calling small kettle…

Name & Shame MPs Who Vote Themselves Tax Cut

Guido was at an impromptu meeting of successful* internet entrepreneurs held at the Adam Street Club. We were briefed by David Gauke from the Tory shadow treasury team who also sits on the Treasury Select Committee.
Basically the entrepreneurs were extremely pissed off that they were looking at a sudden 80% hike in capital gains taxes when they come to sell their start-ups. They are not the only ones, the CBI, the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses are spitting tacks at a tax that came out of the blue via the back of an envelope.

David Gauke pointed out that MPs would, as a result of the reforms, now get a 55% tax cut on capital gains (down from 40% to 18%) when they sell their taxpayer subsidised Westminster second homes. At this self-serving outrage there was a collective “what the f***!” from a roomful of exasperated entrepreneurs.

Guido thinks when the vote comes, those MPs who vote themselves a 55% tax cut and small businesses an 80% tax hike, should be named and shamed. Guido is thinking not just of Yvette and Ed Balls, but those champagne socialists with their multi-million pound property portfolios who will benefit. Michael Meacher and Emily Thornberry spring to mind, but they are not the only MPs who’ll be voting themselves a tax cut on their property portfolios. It adds insult to injury when you factor in that the taxpayer has paid them a tax-free mortgage subsidy worth some £40,000 a year to MPs. Guido will happily publicly name and shame MPs with bulging property portfolios who vote for the Finance Bill that clobbers entrepreneurs. Email Guido any names and details…

*FYI, this blog is more profitable than Guardian Unlimited, which is supposed to be an online success. Apart, that is, from the making money element of success

Tim Yeo Does a Days Work

Guido has reflected on the high emission hypocrisy of Tim Yeo before. This week we read in the FT about him flying off for some golf. The article reveals that he actually went to the office on Monday, yes a whole day, before flying to Spain for another week of golf. Well done Tim…

Drinks All Round – The Taxpayer is Paying

There was a veritable tax parasites ball at Westminster’s fancy Atrium restaurant on Wednesday. The BBC spent some £5,000 pouring booze down MPs throats. Perhaps they were celebrating the expected 2,000 jobs being cut at the BBC? Maybe not, but Guido is celebrating – it is a good start…

Thirst Aid for the Political Class

A co-conspirator writes:

MPs in Bellamy’s last night were being given priority service – with a queue for drinks, the barman by-passed those at the front and asked MPs joining the queue at the back what they would like. I saw this happen twice. I don’t blame the barman of course (or the MPs actually in the cases last night) – it is no doubt a directive from above telling the barman to do so.

But honestly, why do MPs need priority getting a drink? Is it because they have urgent things to attend to and need to get them down as quick as possible?

Is it important to their role as public servants that they get pissed quicker?

Ed & Yvette Profit Handsomely

So who did really well yesterday? Not small businessman, wacked with an 80% hike in capital gains tax when they sell their business at retirement. Alternatively if they work themselves to death dealing with regulatory red tape and hand the business on to their children, Brown and Darling will take, compared to the Tories, an extra £560,000* off the bereaved children. So much for rewarding enterprise.

If you own two homes you just got a handy reduction from 40% to 18% on capital gains. Is it a coincidence that almost all MPs own two homes? The constituency and Westminster home owners already benefit from a tax-free allowance worth £40,000 annually to pay their mortgages. Now they can sell the taxpayer funded second home and only pay the reduced capital gains – a 55% tax cut for MPs.

Mr and Mrs Balls are paid by the taxpayers quarter-of-a-million a year between them, so hard done by are they that they still claim tens of thousands extra in mortgage subsidy on top. Now with the new changes they will be able to sell that second home you paid for and they will pay only 18% tax on it. No wonder they are laughing…

UPDATE : A co-conspirator reminds Guido not to forget the Miliband boys successful efforts to award themselves an IHT tax cut. David Milband is today living in a £ 1.5 million ultra-fashionable-Primrose Hill townhouse at the centre of a complex inheritance-tax avoidance scheme. He shamelessly exploited a loophole which he used to reduce his death duty bills.

When his father Ralph died in 1994 aged 70, leaving a large estate, the Miliband boys agreed a ‘deed of variation’. The cunning move meant that 40% of the equity of the Primrose Hill home was transferred to Ed and David, who were each given a 20% share in the house neatly evading the tax bill.

*Could be an incorrect figure, see the debate in the comments. Guido is not an accountant.

Snouts in Trough : "Do You Know Who I Am?"

So much for equality in the people’s palace. The political class really does have airs and graces:

Access to Services
Before the recess the Speaker approved the Administration Committee’s recommendation that Members should have priority access to services throughout the

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Don’t Miss Dispatches Tonight on C4 at 8pm

Have just finished reading Peter Oborne’s new book The Triumph of the Political Class. It is a brilliant anatomisation of the reality of the contemporary situation. Guido is therefore looking forward to tonight’s exposé of the venality of our

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Citizen’s Consultants

Organising “Citizen’s Juries” has made Gordon’s pollster, Deborah Mattinson, a lot of money over the years. Amazingly they have now become a key Gordon Brown government policy. Who, Guido wonders, will get paid all those fat fees for organising what

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Romsey Redhead Silent on Merial

Sandra Gidley MP, AKA the Romsey Redhead and Big Pharma’s best friend in parliament, was paid for by Sanofi Aventis to go to Paris and Budapest last year on a junket.

They are one of the co-owners of Merial, the

[…]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Tim Farron is asked by GQ how he will be remembered:

“I won’t be. So there’s no point in worrying about how you’d like to be remembered at all.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

EU CABINET GUIDE: WHITTO MOVES UP, GOVE TORN EU CABINET GUIDE: WHITTO MOVES UP, GOVE TORN
PROTESTER CHUCKS DILDO AT MINISTER PROTESTER CHUCKS DILDO AT MINISTER
LEAVE 9 POINTS AHEAD SINCE DAVE’S DEAL LEAVE 9 POINTS AHEAD SINCE DAVE’S DEAL
VENEZUELA FORCED TO FLY IN PLANELOADS OF CASH VENEZUELA FORCED TO FLY IN PLANELOADS OF CASH
SILLY SAUSAGE: TORY MP’S COMMONS DOUBLE ENTENDRE SILLY SAUSAGE: TORY MP’S COMMONS DOUBLE ENTENDRE
SRAELI EX-AMBASSADOR ‘LATE NIGHT VISITS’ SCANDAL BREWING SRAELI EX-AMBASSADOR ‘LATE NIGHT VISITS’ SCANDAL BREWING
UKIP WARNS OF RISK OF TURKEY JOINING EU UKIP WARNS OF RISK OF TURKEY JOINING EU
HIGHEST-EARNING MP DIDN’T NOTICE £400,000 INCOME HIGHEST-EARNING MP DIDN’T NOTICE £400,000 INCOME
BORIS’ NEW BALDNESS-BATTLING BARNET BORIS’ NEW BALDNESS-BATTLING BARNET
GUIDO’S FASHION TIPS: GET THE GRASSROOTS OUT UNIFORM GUIDO’S FASHION TIPS: GET THE GRASSROOTS OUT UNIFORM
BORIS AND FARAGE PAN DAVE’S RED CARD BORIS AND FARAGE PAN DAVE’S RED CARD
WHEN CAMERON AND OSBORNE LAUGHED AT A ‘RED CARD’ WHEN CAMERON AND OSBORNE LAUGHED AT A ‘RED CARD’
SADIQ DUCKS CITY AIRPORT ROW SADIQ DUCKS CITY AIRPORT ROW
DIRE POST-DEAL PAPERS FOR PM DIRE POST-DEAL PAPERS FOR PM
FABBERS’ VOMIT-INDUCING EUROPHILES REVEALED FABBERS’ VOMIT-INDUCING EUROPHILES REVEALED
UNION BARON: “ALL THE TORIES ARE AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE, THEY SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT AND SHOT” UNION BARON: “ALL THE TORIES ARE AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE, THEY SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT AND SHOT”
STELLA THE ‘HASH SMOKING MOROCCAN TOURIST’ STELLA THE ‘HASH SMOKING MOROCCAN TOURIST’
CORBYN BROTHER’S BIZARRE RESPONSE TO DEATH OF MAN AND 4 YEAR OLD SON: “LOL” CORBYN BROTHER’S BIZARRE RESPONSE TO DEATH OF MAN AND 4 YEAR OLD SON: “LOL”
BORIS: DAVE’S DEAL NOT GOOD ENOUGH BORIS: DAVE’S DEAL NOT GOOD ENOUGH
9 SPECIFIC DEMANDS DAVE WANTED FROM BRUSSELS 9 SPECIFIC DEMANDS DAVE WANTED FROM BRUSSELS
CRUZ TRUMPS THE DONALD IN IOWA CRUZ TRUMPS THE DONALD IN IOWA
Crowdfunding “Brexit the Movie” Crowdfunding “Brexit the Movie”
CORBYN SURGES AHEAD OF FOOT CORBYN SURGES AHEAD OF FOOT
HOW FRIENDS OF THE EARTH DODGE CHARITY REGULATIONS HOW FRIENDS OF THE EARTH DODGE CHARITY REGULATIONS
CORBYN AIDE: I THINK WE SHOULD SHOOT WOODCOCK CORBYN AIDE: I THINK WE SHOULD SHOOT WOODCOCK
TEQUILA SCAMMERS: LANSMAN’S LATE NIGHT SECRET ELECTION TEQUILA SCAMMERS: LANSMAN’S LATE NIGHT SECRET ELECTION
Comments & Readership Comments & Readership
MCDONNELL’S PARTIALLY PUBLISHED TAX RETURN MCDONNELL’S PARTIALLY PUBLISHED TAX RETURN
COCKNEY DONALD TRUMP COCKNEY DONALD TRUMP