There has been a lot of tut-tutting about Gordon belatedly paying back £500 for the “questionable” painting of a summerhouse in the garden of his Fife home. So there should be, how did Gordon imagine it was that the summerhouse expenses claimed had been incurred “wholly, necessarily, and exclusively” in the performance of parliamentary duties?
He was able to do that using his second home allowance, but hang on a second, where is his first home? He lives in grace and favour accomodation in Downing Street, he has use of the grace and favour Chequer’s mansion. He pays nothing in rent or mortgage for those properties. When he married he adroitly gave to Sarah the flat he bought cheaply in dubious circumstances from Robert Maxwell’s estate and Guido understands it is now rented out at a profit. That leaves only his old Fife home. It is clearly his real home, it is the only one he owns. Yet he designates it as his “second home” for expenses purposes.
That is just quite simply a dishonest and false claim made only to maximise the amount he can milk from the expenses system. It allows him to live without paying for accommodation anywhere – if only he was so frugal with government expenditure – all at the expense of the taxpayer. He taxes the shirts off our backs to pay for the ironing of the shirt on his back.