MP Expenses – The Gift That Keeps On Giving

December 12, 2009

The story of the MP’s expenses is like a bad bout of food poisoning – just when you think everything has settled down, up it comes again.

The Additional Cost Allowance claims covering the financial year 2008-09 has been released and throws up a whole new list that’s quite frankly breathtaking. I didn’t think anything would top the duck house, but ladies and gentlemen, we have a clear winner. Stand up Quentin Davies and take your prize for attempting to claim £20,000 for the restoration of a bell tower. Jacqui smith, the former home secretary, added a TV and DVD player to go with the porn films her husband ordered. Then there’s the usual house flipping which surely has to be against the law and silly little purchases that beggar belief like 55p for a mug of Horlicks by Tory MP Andrew Selous. How that claim justifies the ability to perform in the position of minister will prove to be one of life’s many mysteries. This is the point of the public anger. Many working people who claim expenses have to make sure it’s relevant to the job they are doing. This free-for-all makes a mockery of those of us who work within the rules set by them.

Well, it’s being cracked down on now, so they say. I’m sure there’ll be loopholes to enable some MP’s of the future to continue this fine tradition of chiselling the taxpayer, but let’s try and be optimistic and look forward to the day when the new rules will see all MPs staying overnight in Premier Inns and paying for a mug of night-time Horlicks with their own cash.


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