The Daily Telegraph has seen uncensored copies of the receipts, which lay bare the extent to which MPs exploit the system to maximise the amount they can claim from the taxpayer.
- Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, claimed money for three different properties in the course of a year, and spent almost £5,000 on furniture in just four months after buying the third property.
- Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, claimed back twice as much for his council tax as he had actually paid. He later repaid the money and apologised for the error.
- Paul Murphy, the Welsh Secretary, splashed out more than £3,000 on a new hot water system for his second home, explaining in a letter to the parliamentary fees office that his water was too hot.
I have no doubt that there will be a lot more to come; passing news-stands this morning, I see that most newspapers are leading with this scandal. And just for information, the Telegraph has published the "John Lewis list" too: here's a very small sample...
- Installation of new bathroom—£6,335.00
- Installation of new kitchen—£10,000.00
- Lamp table—£200.00
- Nest of tables—£200.00
- Recordable DVD—£270.00
- Rugs (each)—£300.00
- Suite of furniture—£2,000.00
- Television set—£750.00
It hardly seems worth pointing out that it is absolutely fucking disgusting that—whilst these bastards tax the poorest in society into fucking penury—these disgusting, corrupt bastards are not only claiming repulsive amounts of "expenses" (they are actually perks, not expenses incurred in the course of doing their job) but fiddling the system so that they can enrich themselves by the maximum amount possible.
And, as Guido points out, the only people holding these bastards to account are... other bastard MPs.
Who made the rules? MPs. Who benefits? MPs. Who decides how much they are paid? MPs. Who judges rule breakers? MPs. It is a fundamental legal principle, that you should not be a judge in your own case (“nemo debet esse iudex in propria causa”). MPs are always judging other MPs caught red handed, that is why despite huge amounts of money being embezzled, not a single MP has gone to jail.
Guido has been shouting about the Green Book Rule changes which came into force on April Fools Day - and politicians really do take us for fools. To stop all the rule breaking by MPs they came up with a clever solution. Scrap the rules! MPs have become millionaires from property portfolios financed out of taxpayer’s money, they have incredibly generous pension packages worth £30,000 a year. Even by public sector standards this is generous. They just keep on troughing for decades and then collect their gold-plated index-linked pension schemes on their way out.
It is disgusting. But it is especially disgusting in the context of socialist MPs who stand there whingeing on about "helping the poorest in our society". Really?
These hypocritical fuckers are helping—helping themselves to money stolen from the rich, the moderately well-off, the not so well-off and the very poor. Still, at least it's a policy of equality, eh?
What a bunch of cunts.
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UPDATE: it seems that the Gobblin' King himself—the Son of the Manse with the moral compass—is under fire...
The receipts submitted to the Parliamentary authorities show that he paid his brother, a senior executive at EDF Energy, £6,577 over 26 months between 2004 and 2006 for cleaning at his flat.
On Thursday, after being approached by the Daily Telegraph, Mr Brown also repaid a plumbing bill he had claimed for twice during 2006.
Downing Street said that he shared the cleaner with his brother and had simply “reimbursed him for his share of the cost”.
"Of course, Mr Andrew Brown did not receive any financial benefit,” a statement said.
It added: “At all times the Prime Minister has acted with the full approval of the parliamentary authorities."
Downing Street today released details of the contract for the cleaning at Mr Brown's flat.
A spokesman said there was nothing "unusual or wrong" in the arrangement, under which the Prime Minister's brother Andrew paid the cleaner directly for work.
I am absolutely sure that it is all above board—of course it is. What is most out of kilter here is that a frugal "man of the people" Labour minister such as Gordon Brown thinks that there is "unusual or wrong" in spending £4,284 a year on a fucking cleaner. How many of his constituents in Kirkcaldy will think that there's nothing "unusual" in that, I wonder?
Anyone who thinks that these filthy, troughing plutocrats—of any party—have any connection or empathy with the ordinary people of this country is almost as stupid as John "thick as two short cunts" Prescott.
Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, this morning defended MPs and said it was up to the parliamentary Fees Office to assess the validity of expenses claims.
“This system is that the House of Commons authorities are not to pay out on anything that is not within the rules,” she said on the BBC Radio Four Today progamme.
Of course it was all within the rules, you evil fucking bitch: you bastards make the rules, and you enforce the rules, for fuck's sake! And just look at some of these thieving bastards... [Emphasis mine—DK]
- Jack Straw received a 50 per cent discount on his council tax from his local authority but claimed the full amount. He discovered the “mistake” last summer within weeks of the High Court ordering that MPs release details of their expenses. He has repaid the money.
- Lord Mandelson , the Business Secretary, claimed thousands of pounds to improve his constituency home after he had announced his resignation as an MP. He sold the property for a profit of £136,000.
- 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.
It is worth noting that whilst Harpy Harperson is doing the rounds, wittering on about how "we have recognised there's a problem and we've already taken action on this", they have not reformed the second homes allowances. At all. Because Gordo's fucking stupid attendances allowance failed to gain any traction with anyone.
And so it goes on...
UPDATE 2: Dizzy has had the same idea concerning the Browns' cleaner as your humble Devil...
Obviously this has raised eyebrows, and the official line is that Gordon and Andrew shared a cleaner who Andrew paid directly and Gordon paid Andrew his share. However I notice there are some questions that our good ladies and gentleman of the press haven't asked yet (that is to say I've not seen these questions yet anyway).
- Between 2004 - 2006, Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and lived in the flat above Number 10 Downing Street having swapped the Number 11 residence with Blair some years before. So please, pray tell, why did his private flat need cleaning so much?
- For a cleaner to clean a three bed Victorian terrace house it's going to take a cleaner a couple of hours a week at around £10 per hour. That's £2080 over two years. Brown's bill was £6577 over 26 months, why?
- Given we're talking about a flat, not a house, that works out to a cleaner charging £30 per hour, for two hours per week. A tad steep, no?
- Of course, it may be that actually the cleaner cost less. Reporting suggests that Gordon was just covering half the cost of the cleaning bill with his brother Andrew. What size property was Andrew having cleaned? Could it be Gordon just paid half the cost with our money for a quarter of the actual work?
- The bottom line here is does a cleaner, where one half of its job is cleaning somewhere that is hardly lived in, really cost £12,000?
I still however come back to the first point. For a man who was living in a grace and favour home, and if memory serves me correctly, had his family living with him for the most part, why did he need to have his private flat cleaned so much at such cost?
Anyone? Bueller? Bueller...?
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