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MP's Expenses Published Online


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The expenses claims of every member of the House of Commons over the past four years have been published online today. Under the rules, MPs had to nominate a primary home, where they spent most time, and a second home for which they could claim for rent, mortgage interest, furnishings and food up to a maximum of more than £23,000 a year.

Certain information, including MPs' addresses and correspondence has been removed according to officials "on privacy and security grounds." The truth of the matter is that without addresses it is impossible to discover if "flipping" - by which some MPs switched the designation of their homes and claimed allowances for several properties over the four year period.

For example, this morning, the Daily Telegraph published details of how Treasury Minister Kitty Ussher changed the designation of her constituency home to avoid capital gains tax. She has now resigned. However, if the newspaper had not published these details she would still be in her job as this information is not in the online database of expenses.

Nearly a dozen MPs have been forced to stand down since the publication of their expenses by the Daily Telegraph. However, most of these hace been forced out by Gordon Brown and David Cameron because they had a history of not being loyal to their leader.

For example, Brown has used the Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) to bar Ian Gibson from standing at the next election after criticism of his expenses claims. Gibson was censured for selling his taxpayer-funded second home to his daughter for below market rates. Several members of the government have done far worse but they remain in office. However, Gibson has been a constant critic of this right-wing goverment and so the opportunity has been used to get rid of him. Gibson has resigned, triggering a by-election in his Norwich constituency. As the local party support Gibson, it will be interesting who they select as their candidate.

From 1st July people would also know how much time and how much money MPs get from second jobs. This will reveal the real corruption of parliament as it will show how corporations bribe our MPs for inside information and to get them to vote in particular ways.

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Well, what are the chances. Decided to randomly dip into Gordon Brown's expenses and quickly discovered a dodgy claim.

In 2006 he submitted the same receipt for two successive claim periods, 18/9/2009 to 30/9/2009, and 1/10/2006 to 31/12/2006. The amount was for £153.13

Pages 14 & 31:-

http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslord...wn_0607_ACA.pdf

Just my luck, the Telegraph had already picked up on this one back in May. Harrumph. :lol:

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From 1st July people would also know how much time and how much money MPs get from second jobs. This will reveal the real corruption of parliament as it will show how corporations bribe our MPs for inside information and to get them to vote in particular ways.

Which I suspect will be more earth-shattering than the expenses fiasco, and more important since it goes to the heart of our democracy.

Anyone interested in exactly what the House Of Commons saw fit to black out of MPs expense claims need only wait until Saturday. The Telegraph are publishing much of the uncensored data in a 68 page supplement on Saturday.

Inside the 68-page magazine supplement you will find files concerning all 646 MPs, with details of their Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) expenses for 2007-8, the most recent year for which figures are available.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics...s-Saturday.html

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Daily Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics...ving-No.10.html

Mr Blair, who left Downing Street on June 27, 2007, submitted an invoice on June 25 for "roof repairs" that cost £6,990. The bill was dated June 8. Mr Blair had announced the previous September that he would quit No 10 within a year.

The claim, which was among the documents published online yesterday by parliament, appeared to be another example of an MP taking a last chance to have taxpayers pay for work carried out at their designated second home before leaving office.

Mr Blair's claim was reduced to £4,453 by the fees office but he still claimed £5,772 in the 2007-08 financial year, while remaining in office for less than three months.

His expense claims for that year also included £735.81 for council tax, which was half of his yearly bill of £1,470 despite the fact that he was replaced as MP for Sedgefield on July 19, 2007, meaning he was an MP for just three and a half months of that year.

Other invoices submitted by Mr Blair in 2007-08 included £305.50 for shredding, £466 for cleaning and hundreds of pounds for phone bills and utilities.

The former prime minister has already faced questions over his expense claims after it emerged that he remortgaged his designated constituency second home for £296,000, almost 10 times what he paid for it, months before he bought a town house in London for £3.65 million. Mr Blair was able to claim on his parliamentary expenses for the interest repayments on almost a third of the new mortgage on his constituency home.

The amount lent was sufficient to cover the deposit on his house in Connaught Square, west London, one of five properties owned by the former prime minister, valued at £10 million in total. The invoice for the roofing repairs, made out to "Mr A Blair", covers "repairs to roof and guttering; strip off old roof to porch above front door and renew latts, slates, felt and lead; strip off two main roofs above rear of property and renew latts, slates, felts and lead; take off and renew the coping stones to main roof which were irreparable".

A spokesman for Tony Blair said: "Roof repairs were carried out well before Tony Blair announced that he was standing down as PM, but the claim was made much later."

MPs are allowed to claim "winding up" expenses in the weeks before they leave parliament but evidence of outgoing members improving their homes, often to make them easier to sell when they no longer needed a second home, led to accusations that they were abusing the system.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said the roof at his home in County Durham had been leaking and the work was done in January, 2007, "before Mr Blair decided to step down as an MP", but the invoice was put in six months later.

The former prime minister still owns the house in County Durham but others who spent money on their designated second home shortly before leaving office and selling up included Lord Mandelson, who submitted invoices for almost £3,000 of work on his Hartlepool home less than a week after he announced his decision to stand down as an MP.

Mr Blair, who has earned about £16 million since leaving office, through public speaking, directorships and a book deal, bought his constituency home in Trimdon, Co Durham, shortly after he was elected as an MP in 1983.

His parliamentary expense forms showed that he claimed £387 per month in mortgage interest, just under a third of the total monthly interest payments on the Durham house.

One claim form, for 2005-06, was covered with handwritten sums detailing each month's mortgage interest claim to the penny, which varied by about £20 per month as the interest rate changed.

I see that he charged £305.50 for shredding documents. Does this mean the taxpayer paid for him to cover-up his corruption.

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  • 1 month later...

Lord Taylor of Warwick, received more than £70,000 in parliamentary expenses by making claims that were based on a “non-existent” main home. He claimed he lived with his sick mother in the Midlands until 2007, allowing him to claim overnight expenses while attending the House of Lords. However, his mother died in 2001 and the house was sold in the same year.

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