Maria Miller is set to be condemned by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for claiming £90,000 in expenses for the mortgage payments of a second home lived in by her parents. This was an open shut case as IPSA rules require second homes to be used exclusively by MPs. Claiming for a property lived in by an MP’s parents is “specifically prohibited”.
Back in 2012 Guido revealed that Miller has two properties in her name: a cottage in her Basingstoke constituency, and the property pictured above in Wimbledon. The Wimbledon property was purchased by Miller and her husband in 1996 for £234,000. A quick browse of the Zoopla property website values similar houses on the same street at between £400,000 and £1,000,000. If Miller was to sell the property, for which she has charged the taxpayer for the mortgage payments, she would make a profit well into six figures.
Miller’s defence is that her parents moved to the home to help her look after her children. It is worth considering that David Laws was kicked out of Cabinet for claiming less than half the money Miller has, and was found, incorrectly in Guido’s view, to have not benefited personally by a Standards and Privileges Committee investigation. Miller’s case is arguably more serious. Cabinet ministers have gone for far less, but will being one of only four women save her?