Thursday, May 14, 2009

Red faced – they should be

You regularly read about the corruption scandals that local politicians get up to here in Spain. Now we learn that British politicians from every party have used the expenses claim process to fund their excessive lifestyles.

This is a story that is set to run for some time in the English press. Just to give my Spanish readers a flavour:

Tory deputy chairman John Maples claimed his private members club in London was his main home.

By declaring the RAC club in Pall Mall, it allowed him to spend “lavish” amounts on his second home.

Labour MP Elliott Morley claimed £800 a month for a mortgage he had already paid off — pocketing a total of £16,000.

Tory Stephen Crabb designated a room in a flat rented by another MP as his main home — after buying a new house in Wales and claiming £9,300 in stamp duty on it.

Labour’s Fabian Hamilton over claimed for his mortgage while living with his mother — before flipping properties to do up TWO homes at taxpayers’ expense.

He designated his mother’s house as his main residence while over-charging taxpayers by thousands for a mortgage on his family home in Leeds.

Fabian Hamilton ... Labour MP over-claimed mortgage while living with his mum, then flipped two properties

Meanwhile tearful Government minister Phil Hope vowed to hand back nearly £42,000 in expenses.

The health minister spent the cash on a new kitchen, wooden flooring, a TV, bedroom furniture, chairs, tables and seven doors. The Corby MP said he was “very badly hurt” by the expenses backlash.

More than 20 MPs have returned nearly £130,000 in allowances and there is more to come.

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