No sightings reported of Sinn Fein MPs at claimed for London properties

Sinn Fein MPs’ expenses were already revealed last month, along with Jacqui Smith’s husband’s porn videos and the 88p bath plug. What the Sunday Telegraph adds is local witnesses at the properties involved. Here we have it, the shadowy presence, the rentals that seem higher than current market value, the oddly uniform claims for TVs etc. All of it, just another example of typical Sinn Fein solidarity. When Gordon Brown announced last month that Sinn Fein abstentionism would be given separate consideration in his ill-fated daily attendance allowance plan, I dissented from the general view that this was bound to mean their claims woiuld continue to be accepted. I’m even more sure now that they won’t, although something like a daily actuality claim may be allowed for each of their London visits. Key details of the story below the fold . “Gerry Adams, the party leader, and Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister, jointly claimed expenses of £3,600 a month to rent a shared two-bedroom flat in north London. A local estate agent, who knows the properties, said a fair monthly rent for the flat would be £1,400.
he three other Sinn Fein MPs together claimed £5,400 a month to rent a shared, modern town house, which the estate agent said would rent on the open market for around £1,800 a month. At other times some of the MPs have stayed in a third property, another two-bedroom flat.

The five Sinn Fein MPs have claimed more than £310,000 in five years from the public purse by submitting receipts from one man, an Irish landlord living in London, and his family.

Immediate neighbours of the three north London properties, which are all part of the same development, could not recall seeing any of the five MPs when shown photographs of them.

Neighbours of the three-storey town house where three MPs – Michelle Gildernew, Pat Doherty and Conor Murphy – claimed expenses last year, could not recognise the politicians in photographs shown to them by The Sunday Telegraph. One resident, who did not want to be named, said that the yellow-brick house was a rental property where young professionals appeared to “come and go”.

One resident, who helps run the development, said of the MPs: “They do not live here. I have never seen them, although I do recognise from the photos that they are something to do with Sinn Fein.” ”

  • blinding

    Well its not Sinn Féins fault if the security services are not doing their jobs is it.

  • Pete Baker

    I see the Telegrpah reports the response from Sinn Féin.

    The five MPs denied acting improperly last night. They insisted the money had been “legitimately claimed” and that they did “regularly” travel to London for work, when they used their rented properties. The MPs say their rent includes parking, housekeeping and utility bills.

    “Regularly” does not mean frequently.

    And obviously the rent doesn’t include 28-inch widescreen TVs..

    The Sinn Fein MPs also have identical televisions and stereo systems. Receipts submitted to the Commons authorities show that in 2004, two of the flats, each rented at the time by two of the MPs, were equipped with “Samson” 28-inch widescreen televisions, each costing £329, and DVD Sony cinema surround systems, each costing £230. The invoices were made out in the same handwriting, with one of the flats also charging for a three-seat settee, costing £795, and Venetian blinds, costing £485.

  • sj1

    Did they share a cleaner for the flat? Or did someone else clean it? Those flats can get very dirty.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Perhaps they enter and leave the properties usig some kind of stealth technology?

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Sinn Fein is unique in that we are the only political party that voluntarily publishes our financial accounts annually in the interest of openness and transparency. If only other parties would do likewise then the public might have more confidence in their public representatives.”

    Ha ha ha ha .

    Sinn Fein , what a sense of humour?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Isn’t that cheap for a TV? The John Lewis list has a recommended price of more than double the £329 listed – £750, IIRC. And if the Sunday Telegraph doesn’t even know that the brand is Samsung, as opposed to Samson…! Compared to the extravagances of Labour and the DUP leader, the Shinners rented houses must look positively spartan.

    The vast bulk and most important aspects of this story were revealed over a month ago. I suggested at the time that UCUNF might want to link allowances to attendance, but the ball was dropped. And I suspect it will be again.

    The only real ‘issue’ left here is why SF are paying so much rent for houses they may only use infrequently. The money doesn’t appear to be coming back to SF, unlike in other cases. It’s difficult to see how the rules could be changed to force MPs into hotel rooms, since there are even bigger snouts in the trough in the biggest parties. Perhaps an independent panel could come up with some formula, so while pessimistic, I haven’t given up hope that some manners can be put on our MPs.

    While not suggesting that the Shinners shouldn’t be subject to the same rules (once reformed) as the rest of the parties, they ain’t the worst offenders.

  • “Those flats can get very dirty.”

    sj1, the only bugs in SF flats will have been placed there by the UK intelligence services. They are not safe houses for conspirators.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The Daily Torygraph is presumably timing its releases so as to damage the Labour party as much as posible and will preumably move on to the Tory party when their is an investigation underway or the stories are less in the public mind – we would expect nothing else from them.

    The right wing ideologues who often set the tone of the paper believe that Britain was humiliated by the Provos with the signing of the GFA and will obviously go after its leadership when an opportunity presents iteslf – again, we would expect nothing else from them.

    As long as SF are playing by rules then if it has the added benefit of upsetting the wild-right-wing of the Tory party well all the better and we can sit back and enjoy the ranting knowing that with the Tories extremely uncomfortable about this issue themselves it will all be the usual political jibber-jabber.

  • Zoon Politikon

    Someone confirm the job of an MP is to represent their constituents etc in the house of commons in Parliamen. SF do not do this but tey claim second home allowance for this? Someone in Parliament should get their P45.

  • KB

    These practices are clearly immoral. Therefore Sinn fein is Immoral.

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

  • Shelley Gittins

    It just goes to show you can’t be too careful.

  • Rory Carr

    Since Sinn Féin are a party committed to breaking Westminster’s hold over any part of Ireland it would seem to me that its MP’s would be shirking in their duty if they did not do their utmost to squeeze every penny possible from the Westminster machine in order to help further that aim. In that sense they are certainly not suject to the same ethical constraints as those MP’s who fully support the system.

    But having said that these revelations only serve to illustrate the continuing modesty of the Sinn Féin members’ lifestyle as might be expected from the members of the only party whose representatives voluntarily restrict their own income from their duties as public representatives to the level of the average working man’s wage.

    It is this policy and the embarrassing light that it throws on the self-serving snuffle-pigs of the other parties at Westminster (and Stormont) that will have the complaisant nuzhounds grubbing around for ways to spin SF’s patent probity through 360 degrees.

    If the other parties’ MP’s had one scintilla of the ethical decorum of the Sinn Féin representatives they would not be so neck-deep in ordure today in the public perception.

  • Rory, have you discounted the PRM’s income from ‘other sources’? I should imagine some of it will be available for political activities. However, there’s unlikely to be an audit trail 😉

  • kensei

    The Sinn Fein MPs also have identical televisions and stereo systems. Receipts submitted to the Commons authorities show that in 2004, two of the flats, each rented at the time by two of the MPs, were equipped with “Samson” 28-inch widescreen televisions, each costing £329, and DVD Sony cinema surround systems, each costing £230.

    Seriously Pete? Party get two houses then furnishes them? Happens to get the same stuff for both places? All within rules? This is a scandal? Dear God.

    No, wait. This is scrapping the barrel. In any case, I would have stung the the English taxpayer for at least a 42 inch TV.

  • “the English taxpayer”

    You’re an English taxpayer, kensei? 🙂

  • blinding

    If Westminister does not want to pay for irish politicians there is an option for them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    penny possible from the Westminster machine in order to help further that aim.

    Except it’s not the “Westminster machine”, it’s the UK taxpayer. Which comprises every single person who voted for Gerry and company who pay for it on a daily basis in income tax, VAT, fuel duty, etc.

  • kensei

    Nevin

    You’re an English taxpayer, kensei? 🙂

    Consider the massive subvention, Nevin, then try and figure out where the money will come from.

  • Brian Walker

    Rory, Surely it’s a poor advert for Republican ethics to say that “Since Sinn Féin are a party committed to breaking Westminster’s hold over any part of Ireland it would seem to me that its MP’s would be shirking in their duty if they did not do their utmost to squeeze every penny possible from the Westminster machine in order to help further that aim.” Nor do SF argue this, being too shrewd.

    Gonzo, your point ” The only real ‘issue’ left here is why SF are paying so much rent for houses they may only use infrequently” is a pretty good issue though isn’t it? Even if non -attendance in the chamber is not to be regarded as a principled reason for denying them expenses, I have a suspicion that the actual presence in London of most of them on political business however defined, is infrequent, particularly now that the Assembly is functioning again. Even when I was in the lobby up to 2006 they seldom seemed to be around Westminster. Usually one of them would hold a news conference after other meetings, once a month. Latterly this was the job of Conor Murphy after his 2005 election, in charge of Westminster liaison. Occasionally it was Gerry Adams, sometimes Mitchel McLaughlin who of course isn’t an MP. And after all, why would they need to be in London much anyway, as they had no interest in voting, and lobbying ministers on bread and butter issues can be better done in Belfast,with more officials on hand? . I accept there were unannounced meetings and of course this omits all the Downing St shuttles pre-St Andrews. I would support a call for SF MPs to publish their London diaries over the past year or two, and then we’d see if they could defend the claims on value for money grounds.’d guess the chances of their doing that are pretty slim. I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

    The problem the SF abstaining MPS have is chronic lack of transparency. This is surely questionable, whatever your political opinions.
    Either take your seats or drastically reduce your allowances claims. Don’t leave it for others to tackle it. This is the ethical choice.

  • I was thinking of who it will come from, kensei: you(?), me and millions of other UK taxpayers.

  • alan56

    If the other parties’ MP’s had one scintilla of the ethical decorum of the Sinn Féin representatives they would not be so neck-deep in ordure today in the public perception.

    Rory,
    Do you really believe this?

  • Dave

    “The only real ‘issue’ left here is why SF are paying so much rent for houses they may only use infrequently. The money doesn’t appear to be coming back to SF, unlike in other cases.” – Belfast Gonzo

    £5,400 a month to rent a house “would rent on the open market for around £1,800” means that the landlord is getting an extra £42,300 a year at the direct expense of the taxpayer. Now either the Shinners are being extremely generous with the sweat from the working man’s back (who works hard to provide the state with those taxes, depriving his own family of the benefit) and redistributing the working man’s income to wealthy landlords or someone is getting a backhander on the deal and the Shinner’s love for multi-propertied landlords is actually bog-standard corruption. The Inland Revenue should look closely at this landlord’s affairs. Either way, those who show such blatant disregard for taxpayer’s money are not fit and proper people to determine how it should be spent in a government. Still, there is always the property portfolio of the the good republican.

  • Jonathan Kennedy

    Brown must make no special circumstances to allow SF to continue claiming these expenses beyond the next parliament.

    As absentee MPs they do not attend regular sessions nor committee business, so what exactly is the nature of their “Parliamentary business” at Westminster, beyond the odd meeting at Number 10?

    The properties are being rented at well above market value. Do they expect us to believe that “parking, utilities and housekeeping” make up the remaining thousands of pounds in rent?

  • iluvni

    Who is this ‘Irish landlord’?

  • cynic

    Probably someone with a North Antrim connection. lol

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Brian

    OK, it’s not a bad issue., but what do you suggest be done? Genuinely interested. The Tories propose linking allowance to attendance, yet this was shot down over fears of ‘signing in and sodding off’ (SISO) a la local councils and Europe. Labour provided them with allowances in the first place, against much pressure. What do you propose?

    Dave

    If the lingering doubt over the over-payment of rent is that money is making its way back into SF coffers, then it’s not going to be found out. Donors to Northern Irish parties are not revealed, and IIRC all the main parties here – including unionists – have fully backed that.

  • tk

    Fools without the brave man’s faith
    All slaves and starvelings who are willing
    To sell yourselves to shame
    Accept the fatal Saxon Shilling

  • Silverline

    Was it not the Ulster Unionist Party that agreed to allow Sinn Fein along with the two governments under the Belfast Agreement to allow SF to get these expenses despite not taking there seats.

  • Dave

    “If the lingering doubt over the over-payment of rent is that money is making its way back into SF coffers, then it’s not going to be found out. Donors to Northern Irish parties are not revealed, and IIRC all the main parties here – including unionists – have fully backed that. – ” Belfast Gonzo

    That’s not the way that “backhanders” work. A buyer agrees with a supplier to provide goods or services at an inflated price with the buyer receiving a kickback from the supplier (ussually in cash), and the company for whom the buyer works spending considerably more than it would otherwise have done. So, paying £5,400 a month for a service that is only worth “around £1,800” a month is classic backhander. That’s why I said that “The Inland Revenue should look closely at this landlord’s affairs.” The CAB should also investigate the fraud. I’m not referring to party political donations.

  • brendan,belfast

    The key question is who owns the properties, who is the landlord who is getting the over the odds payments? The question could be answered by SF without compromising on security – and if they want to continue to be ‘transparent’ then they will have no problem answering that question.

    Over to you journos.

  • I despair sometimes, instead of placing the blame for this Rotten Westminster parliament squarely where it belongs, the Unionist and middle class nationalist community acts like forelock tuggers and cries paddy has his snout in the trough, anything to take the heat off the useless bunch who actually sit at Westminster.

    Is it any wonder your masters across the water shaft you time and again, you have an opportunity to expose their cant, instead you argue amongst each other like cats in a sack about to be drowned.

  • “the useless bunch who actually sit at Westminster.”

    MH, I suspect many of your comments are applicable to political bodies across the Archipelago and further afield. Is there any body elsewhere that we could learn from?

  • Mick Fealty

    Brendan,

    “The key question is who owns the properties, who is the landlord who is getting the over the odds payments?”…

    Indeed. I’m guessing my colleagues on the news room floor were too busy with other stories to go down that root. But there are pictures on the front page of the ST, so I’m guessing the next bit won’t be such a great deal of hassle to find out.

    Find that out and we’ll have an idea of just where this story is headed. I understand it is common practice in Europe for people with critical connections to the various MEPs and/or their parties to hold such properties.

  • eranu

    mickhall, you know you’re being a bit like that character on ‘Dry your eyes’ that would go off on one anytime he heard someone with an english accent 🙂

  • Mick,

    I’m not sure where you are going here, are you saying it is wrong that Irish republicans elected to the Westminister parliament should not avail themselves of the same advantages as the Unionist, nationalist, Tory and New Labour freeloaders.

    Or are you saying the current Westminster edifice is institutionally corrupt to the core? If you are, why concentrate on 5 SF MPs? After all, they only make up a tiny minority of the politicians who bring the UK parliament into disrepute, but if an outsider were to read slugger of late, they may get a different viewpoint?

  • kensei

    Nevin

    I was thinking of who it will come from, kensei: you(?), me and millions of other UK taxpayers.

    Keep thinking. If I cost the government £10,000 but pay taxes equivalent to only £8,000 due to the subvention, then after the reduction of the cost to £9,995 my taxes will still be £8,000. The people benefiting will be in England, who pay the subvention.

    There is an argument that any increase would be unfairly distributed so I get even a part of my fiver back, but screw it, in that case it’s still worth paying to enrage the Daily Mail. I find it incredibly hard to get enraged by this. SF clearly want a base of operation in London, and the facility probably doubles up for use by staff. They played the rules to get what they want. On the wider question, there is not a business anywhere that would like their expenses placed under scrutiny like this, inclusing journalists.

    If you set a budget of x for expenses and let people do what they want with it, then I can assure you that budget will get spent. People will actively think up ways to use their entitlement, and some will be absurd. It’s human nature. The sums are also utterly trivial in comparison to the bigger problems we have.

    Come back when there is some evidence of hard graft.

    Brian

    Rory, Surely it’s a poor advert for Republican ethics to say that “Since Sinn Féin are a party committed to breaking Westminster’s hold over any part of Ireland it would seem to me that its MP’s would be shirking in their duty if they did not do their utmost to squeeze every penny possible from the Westminster machine in order to help further that aim.” Nor do SF argue this, being too shrewd.

    No, but I’d hazard a guess the are quite content for others to raise it, Brian, since it’ll play well in certain constituencies.

  • Brian Walker

    Gonzo you ask:
    OK, it’s not a bad issue., but what do you suggest be done?
    Do what Brown suggested for all MPs, but apply it in their case only – clock them in for political business and pay them approved daily actuality, as I say – i.e.- they get back what they spend. That’s what hundreds of thousands of people get who travle on business.

    kensei, yes but Conor Murphy says they’re content to get paid what’s decided. They would get treated like everyone else if they behaved like everyone else. Morever the Conservatives have gone too far down the road of clawback to back off now. I would expect quite a row at the beginning of a Tory government. SF would have to decide whether to make it an issue of confidence with them. I doubt if they would, given the clamour against corruption re both Westminster and the Dail.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    I think Mick Hall’s on the money here, so to speak. What SF have been alleged to have done here doesnt sound worse than that committed by various cabinet ministers. They’re a tiny party so its hard to see how their overall effect is that important – except if you dont like them of course in which case it is very important to highlight any detail which could embarass them.

    Not that I particularly object, but thats whats going on here.

    Also Brian, no offence but promoting a system which systematically targets one party in a different manner to the others is hardly indicative of a neutral viewpoint btw!
    (sorry if this comes over as moany – its not meant to).

  • LURIG

    Classic tactics from the right wing Little Englanders in the British media. The Sinn Fein story is mud that the Tories will hope sticks to Gordon Brown and his party. Any Sinn Fein/IRA story across the water gathers the posse together and inflames “MR & MRS ANGRY from Tunbridge Wells” no end. When one considers the billions wasted in bailing out the fat greedy cats in the City of London and the Banking system this is small beer. So called real politics are only starting to kick in here but there are those in Fleet Street and Whitehall who see the Provos and Shinners as unfinished business. They still have the old Colonial mindset and want to renage on the Good Friday Agreement with Sinn Fein ousted from government here. The Tories are already making worrying statements about what they are going to do in power. I see testing times ahead for the Peace Process and am only glad that Obama is in the White House to reel in the Unionist bigots and Colonel Blimps who want Sinn Fein totally smashed and excluded from ANY devolved political administration.

  • Glen Taisie

    Number of oral questions from our three MEP’s over the past FIVE YEARS

    Jim Allister 46
    Jim Nicholson 3
    Bairbre deBrun 0

    deBrun is likely to top the poll despite not having asked a question in FIVE YEARS.

  • Brian Walker

    Lurig, Sorry to disappoint but SF are only a footnote in all this.The expenses scandal has not been got up to dish them. The Conservatives were gunning ( so to speak) for their allowances long before the expenses disclosures. You have a very odd idea of the power structures involved in our politics. The world is not Hiberno-centric. Various Micks, yes how interesting it will be to discover who the landlord is.

  • LURIG

    I know Glen and I have been banging on about Sinn Fein’s record, results and lack of achievements for the last 5 years. It is shocking but to oppose them out for just being Sinn Fein will ensure that de Bruin is returned and Unionists don’t realise that. On their performance the Shinners should never be let into public office again but the old sectarian headcount and Unionist split will probably mean they top the poll and that is criminal. They are awful public representatives who are quite happy to represent the “world owes me a living brigade” and fill out your DLA forms. They have done nothing in places like North Belfast for people who get up in the morning, work and act like decent citizens. They are the champions of the scumbag, blue bag, lazy, work shy scroungers who contribute absolutely nothing to society. I used to vote for them but wouldn’t give them a slide now if I owned the Alps.

  • Why do Sinn Fein MPs in London need to be paying public money out on standing charges for parking? Presumably they don’t take the car over to Stranraer when they’re going on this business representing their constituents that they keep telling us about. More over on http://northbynorthwestblog.wordpress.com/

  • Brian MacAodh

    Can we get a breakdown of the expenses Bobby Sands claimed when he was an MP?

  • Harry Flashman

    @blinding

    “If Westminister does not want to pay for irish politicians there is an option for them.”

    Succinctly put.

    Maybe I’ve been away too long and the “New Dispensation” really is true but anyone who has followed my posts over the years will know my opinion of Sinn Fein, so I have to ask; in the name of God since when did Irish Republicans ever feel the need to apologise for shafting the Brits?

  • Harry,

    Exacly, your back on form. There is another reason why this thread is about face, for the last ten years and more it has been the strategy of the British government to entice SF with goodies to join the club.

    If anyone thinks an incoming Tory government will change that position, then despite roaming the halls of Westminster for much of their working life they are pig ignorant about how the UK State actually works, the more so when it comes to the security of Betsy’s corrupt and rotten realm.

    If any Tory minister actually believes they will be able to slap down SF expenses, they better make sure they have brought up all and every photograph of then doing a line.

  • Henry94

    Zoon

    Someone confirm the job of an MP is to represent their constituents etc in the house of commons in Parliament.

    No their job is to represent their constituents. In the case of the SF MPs their constituents do not want to be represented in a British parliament.

    The solution is quite simple. MPs elected in the north should be entitled to attend Dail Eireann or the House of Commons. The Sinn Fein reps would then be attending and claiming expenses in the place where their voters want them to be.

  • Neil

    The five Sinn Fein MPs have claimed more than £310,000 in five years

    Does that not work out at a claim of 12,400 per person? Which means accomodation is provided for 5 people for the sum of about 1,000 per month per person, when each of those five people could actually be submitting much larger claims, unless I’m mistaken?

    So they claim 1,000 per month each, don’t pay a mortgage, don’t own the profit from the house (which they wouldn’t pay capital gains on, like the Tory party members who sell their homes for profit), unlike most other parties they don’t actually make a gain on anything? And this is the big story? Perhaps it’s meant to serve as a distraction from the real scandals the Tory party will have to face when it’s revealed how many of them have made a packet – personally, in their bank account ready to spend – as opposed to this pittance.

  • lamh dearg

    Henry said

    “No their job is to represent their constituents. In the case of the SF MPs their constituents do not want to be represented in a British parliament.

    The solution is quite simple. MPs elected in the north should be entitled to attend Dail Eireann or the House of Commons. The Sinn Fein reps would then be attending and claiming expenses in the place where their voters want them to be.”

    But the laws and decisions affecting tese constituents are made in Westminster, not Dublin.

    A recent case in point is that of the Desmond workers in Claudy who were going to lose their pensions as well as their jobs as a consequence of a loophole in pension legislation surrounding dates.

    It took an active, engaged MP (Mark Durkan) to engage with Westminster, other MPs and, using the day to day parliamentary procedures of meetings, motions, drafting, proposing and successfully amending legislation to ensure these workers at least got 80% of their pensions.

    An MP refusing to attend parliament or attending the Dail could not have delivered this.

  • Mark McGregor

    Number of oral questions from our three MEP’s over the past FIVE YEARS

    Jim Allister 46
    Jim Nicholson 3
    Bairbre deBrun 0

    deBrun is likely to top the poll despite not having asked a question in FIVE YEARS.

    Posted by Glen Taisie on May 10, 2009 @ 11:23 PM

    GT,

    I’ll briefly address this as hopefully we can revisit the issue in more detail in an appropriate entry.

    Those figures are a) wrong b) of limited value even when accurate

    I assume you lifted them from Allister’s website.

    Firstly I’ve just checked de Brún’s Oral Questions and she has two – H-0054/08 and H-0654/06 under rule 109. She also has six joint questions under rule 108.

    Secondly they exclude the much more comprehensive Written Questions which can give a level of detail in the response not permitted for Oral questions, taken together these put de Brún on 41, one behind Nicholson.

    I’ll look at them for all three later.

    As i said we should be revisiting this area but in the meantime be wary of quoting stats from a politician in the middle of an election – that way lies spin.

  • John East Belfast

    Henry 94

    “The solution is quite simple. MPs elected in the north should be entitled to attend Dail Eireann or the House of Commons. The Sinn Fein reps would then be attending and claiming expenses in the place where their voters want them to be.”

    LOL !

    I am sure the citisens of the 26 Counties would love that !

    If SF want to be TDs then it can stand for election there – which of course it does and gets decidedly trounced in the process. The ROI does not want SF to have a say in its affairs and it certainly doesnt want those who represent people who contribute nothing to their Exchequer.

    However I would gladly swop our SF Stormont Ministers for their Dail equivalents – I dont know who they are but I really cant think they could be any worse.
    Let Caitriona Ruane wreck the ROI Education system in her pursuit of class warfare and see if she can get away with it there.

    Kensei

    “Keep thinking. If I cost the government £10,000 but pay taxes equivalent to only £8,000 due to the subvention, then after the reduction of the cost to £9,995 my taxes will still be £8,000. The people benefiting will be in England, who pay the subvention.”

    Kensei you wouldnt pass O-Level Economics with thinking like that.

    Taxpayers in NI dont pay different rates of tax than taxpayers in any other part of the UK. The fact that there is more Govt Expenditire in NI per head of the population than anywhere else is not the point. People in Surrey are not paying a greater basic rate of income tax than those in NI.

    There are UK Tax payers and there is Govt expenditure.
    I assume you, like myself, are one of the former and hence whenever the latter rises then it has to be financed by raising tax from people like you or me.

    All taxpayers are the same – if SF are squandering tax payers money it is you, me and every other UK tax payer that will ultimately pay for it

  • Pancho’s Horse

    As my ole pappy used to say “If you lie down with dawgs you rise with flays”. New “Sinn Fein” should have known.

  • kensei

    JEB

    There are a number of ways the money could be funneled to the English taxpayer. Not all taxes hit equally, spending can be diverted in various ways. In the event it wasn’t, see the second half of the comment. These are piddling sums. Totally worth it for the Mail-rage, and the educated guess that an Irish Republican party will be extracting more than Irish Republican voters are paying in, even if every single one of them were paying taxes.