Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, reckons that “the sharp differences in expenses claims among MPs were not easily explicable.”
Guido can explain it easily. Loads of MPs are on the fiddle.
“The degree of variation in the spend on stationery and allowances, and in some aspects of the travel regime, are not easily explicable,” he says tactfully. “It is so marked that it is bound to give rise to questions about Members’ practice.” Ahh, he does realise they are fiddling.
He intends to press for MPs to pay for at least one of their own homes out of their own pockets. So that will bugger up Geoff Hoon forinstance, who claims at the taxpayer’s expense for his constituency home, despite owning it outright with no mortage. Senior Labour figures like David Blunkett, Jack Straw, John Prescott, Ruth Kelly and Margaret Beckett have fiddled between them hundreds of thousands of pounds in unjustified expenses. Dole cheats go to jail for far smaller frauds.