Thursday, May 7, 2009

MP expenses storm breaks

The Telegraph has had the expenses leaked, with full details of the myriad expenses of the fat cat MPs.

The revelations came after The Daily Telegraph obtained copies of receipts relating to the expenses of current and former Cabinet ministers dating back to 2004.(The Daily Telegraph has seen uncensored copies of the receipts, which lay bare the extent to which MPs play the system to maximise the amount of money they can claim from the taxpayer. )

They also show that Hazel Blears, the embattled Communities Secretary, submitted claims on three different properties in the course of a year, while Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, repaid £1,700 that he overclaimed for council tax soon after it transpired that all MPs expense receipts would be published.

Lord Mandelson billed the taxpayer almost £3,000 for work carried out on his constituency home in Hartlepool less than a week after he announced that he was standing down as an MP. He later sold the terrace house for a profit of £136,000.
from the Times this morning

Also in the Telegraph this morning your best and worst value MP
Pictures here of extraordinary claims

Frankly they are being paid enough what the hell do they need to claim for windows and doors?

It seems even the Ginger Ninja Hazel Blears is ready to trough at expenses too

* Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, claimed for three different properties in a single year. She spent almost £5,000 on furniture in three months after buying the third flat in an upmarket area of London.

* David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, spent hundreds of pounds on gardening at his constituency home — leading his gardener to question whether it was necessary to spend the money on pot plants “given [the] relatively short time you’ll be here”.

* Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, changed his official “second home” designation four times in four years.

* Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, also switched his second home, which allowed him to extensively improve his family home in Derbyshire before buying a London town house also funded by the taxpayer.

* Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, Caroline Flint, the Minister for Europe, and Paul Murphy, the Welsh Secretary, also bought flats — or the freehold on a property they already owned — and claimed stamp duty and other moving costs. Mr Burnham warned the parliamentary authorities that his wife might divorce him if expenses were not paid promptly.

All this the day after Jacqui Smith has been shown to be milking the system telling one thing to her local council and another to the House of Commons.

We want a General Election now! Not in a years time.

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