Cheating UK MP’s now claim expenses to stop being MP’s!

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UK MP’s have been, for a long time, using expense claims to pad their incomes and many of these expenses are for generating income for family members as part of their staff. The Telegraph took the lead in exposing the culture of greed among these “servants of society”. Some rules have changed but it is not a culture that will be changed easily.

Now the Telegraph reports that even those MP’s already found to have been cheating on expenses and who had decided not to stand again have now claimed – and received – substantial sums for closing down their operations:

More than 200 MPs claimed the payments of up to £42,732, which they were entitled to use for staff salaries and office costs if they were leaving Parliament, receiving a total of £6.8 million. A large number of employees who would have received the payments were MPs’ relatives hired to run their offices, meaning that the cash would have gone straight into their household income.

  1. Labour’s Jim Devine, who was convicted last month of false accounting on his expenses, was paid £19,832.
  2. David Chaytor, who was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for cheating on his Commons allowances, received £10,089.
  3. Jacqui Smith, quit as home secretary after putting her husband’s pornographic films on her expenses. He worked as her office manager and would have been entitled to some of the £37,868 she claimed.
  4. Mark Oaten, the disgraced ex-Liberal Democrat MP for Winchester, claimed £41,518 to wind up his office – four years after announcing he would not stand again after his affair with a male prostitute emerged.
  5. Several MPs who have now become peers also claimed the winding-up allowance, despite now being entitled to set up new offices just yards away from their former rooms in the House of Commons. Lord Howard, the former Conservative leader, and Lord Boswell, Tory MP for Daventry until May, received £26,590 and £42,708 respectively to wind up their offices having both announced that would not stand again in 2006.
  6. Lord Reid, the former Labour home secretary was paid £37,157 after announcing that he would not contest his Airdrie & Shotts seat at the election in 2007.

As well as a winding up allowance, departing MPs are also entitled to a “resettlement grant” of up to £64,766, a year’s salary, to allow help them make the “transition” to normal life. The former MPs received a total of £10.3million in “golden parachute” payments.

For parliamentarians, and not just in the UK, serving a party line has long ago replaced the notion of serving constituents’ interests and the allure of becoming a parliamentarian remains the many different ways of generating income that it affords.

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One Response to “Cheating UK MP’s now claim expenses to stop being MP’s!”

  1. “Iain Duncan Smith” and his attempts to introduce Financial Apartheid for the poor…. « Dear England Says:

    […] Cheating UK MP’s now claim expenses to stop being MP’s! ( […]

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