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Top Ten MP Expenses Fiddles

The Telegraph has helpfully outlined the top ten ways in which MPs can maximise their expenses claims—all within the rules.
  1. 'Flipping’ their addresses: MP nominates London property as “second” home, charges the taxpayer for furniture and refurbishment, then nominates constituency home so they can do up that one too.

  2. Climbing the property ladder: MP renovates property courtesy of taxpayer, sells it on at a profit, then buys another property, renovates it, sells it and so on.

  3. Council tax reduction: MP claims full rate of council tax on “second” home, paid by the taxpayer, then claims discounted rate on their other home, paid by themselves, by telling council this is their “second” home.

  4. March madness: MPs who haven’t claimed the maximum permissible allowance during the financial year go on spending sprees in March to “use up” the remainder of their allowance before April deadline.

  5. Last-minute repairs: Splashing out thousands on renovations just before stepping down as an MP in order to maximise profits when second home is sold.

  6. Capital gains tax avoidance: Although second homes are subject to capital gains tax for the general public, MPs can avoid paying this when they sell their second home by claiming it is, in fact, their main home.

  7. Claiming for the 'wrong’ address: Although MPs are supposed to nominate the home where they spend the least time as their “second” home, some claim their main family home as their second property, so that the taxpayer foots their large household bills, while their “main” home is a cheap rented room in a friend’s house in London or their constituency.

  8. Long-distance shopping: MP buys large household goods, such as beds, wardrobes and armchairs, and has them delivered to constituency home, then claims they took them to their London home at a later date. Parliamentary officials rarely, if ever, question whether they are telling the truth about where the furniture ended up.

  9. Maxing out: Until recently, MPs did not have to submit receipts for claims under £250, so many claim for £249 worth of cleaning, repairs or other services without having to provide any proof of what it cost them.

  10. Binge eaters: MP claims the maximum £400 food allowance for every month of the year, even during the recess when they are unlikely to be away from their main home.

Almost all of these schemes are related to the second homes allowance, so it must be abolished. And what should we replace it with? Well, ideally, nothing, nothing at all—and certainly not an attendance allowance (known, in the EU Parliament, as SISO (Sign In and Sod Off)).

But, given these bastards' constant fucking whingeing, I would be happy to accept private rental receipts or hotel receipts—with the proviso that no member of the MPs' family, nor anyone else with whom they have a close private relationship, can be enriched by said payments.

Tear it down: all of it.


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