The Tories’ turn

Somehow after the first jolts, the impact doesn’t seem so severe, now that it’s the turn of the Conservatives. Even so, the pattern is the much the same as with Labour. David Cameron got his “sorry” in just before publication. And oh yes, you may like to know how Tony Blair managed to afford that £3.65 million Connaught Square mansion…

Extracts
“Michael Gove, the shadow education secretary, spent more than £7,000 in five months furnishing a London property in 2006 before “flipping” his second home designation to a new property he bought in Surrey. He then claimed more than £13,000 in stamp duty and other fees

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, spent thousands of pounds renovating a thatched Tudor country cottage shortly before selling it. He redecorated inside and out with premium paint at a cost of £2,000 and re-shingled the driveway. He then “flipped” his expenses to a Georgian flat in London where he claimed for thousands of pounds in furnishings including a Laura Ashley sofa.

Francis Maude bought a flat in London a few minutes walk from a house he already owned. He then rented out the other property and began claiming on the new flat: the taxpayer has since covered nearly £35,000 in mortgage interest payments.

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, claimed thousands of pounds to renovate a London flat 17 miles from his family home. Mr Grayling already owned three properties within the M25 but still bought the flat with loans subsidised by the taxpayer. He then claimed for work on the property for up to a year after it was carried out.

Cheryl Gillan, the shadow Welsh secretary, claimed for dog food on her expenses. Last night, she said that she would repay the money.”

Ah so that’s how he did it..
“It also emerged today that Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, remortgaged his constituency home for £296,000 – nearly 10 times its purchase price – just before buying a west London house for £3.65 million. While there is no suggestion Mr Blair broke any parliamentary rules, he was able to use the system to claim for interest repayments amounting to almost a third of the new mortgage on his constituency home. The remortgaged amount was enough to cover the deposit on the new London house.”

  • Silverline

    If this is what the UUP have joined up to I wont be voting for them.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Sliverline

    And there was me thinking you were a DUP supporter with the Robinson, Dodds and Paisley dynasties in charge.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    There is no excuse for any of them they were wrong and should be required to repay whatever was not in the spirit of the rules, not whatever was ‘within’ the rules.

    ‘Flipping’ should be fully investigated and where there are no clear and acceptable reasons any funds derived from it should be reclaimed.

  • New Blue

    FD

    I agree 100% with you.

    The problem is that this type of ‘fringe benefit’ has been allowed to be seen as an acceptable perk amongst ALL elected representatives.

    Again, we need the electorate to remind their candidates that being selected to represent the public is an honour and not a ticket for freebees.

    I would expect that any line of business which offered employees expenses, if examined, would show similar examples of ‘stretching the rules’.

    This is less acceptable for those in politics because they are supposed to be entrusted with leading the country / region they have been elected to represent in a fair and moral manner.

    How can we attempt to instill a sense of right and wrong in our young if those who are supposed to set the example are shown as selfish pickpockets?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Obvious bit of Pro-Tory news management by the ToryGraph getting the Labour stuff out first and allowing PoshBoyDC time to prepare their approach. But not sure if it will do them any good anyway.

  • Greenflag

    What did anyone expect from the part of family values . Who now recalls Mr Major’s ‘family valuing’ event with Edwina or Cecil Parkinson’s impregnated secretary and the long list of mostly Tory degenerates that filled the scandal pages of British tabloids during the dying days of the Thatcherite and Major administrations ?

    Boys will be boys – Lions eat zebra etc . You can expect the same from a Cameroonian administration . Not initially perhaps but once ensconced in power in a second term the tendency for power mongers to assume they are above the law is not an unknown phenomenon in political life .

    What’s the cure ? Voter awareness and transparency in all financial dealings by public representatives . Will it work ? For a while until the politicians find a way around any new restrictions 🙁 As long as it’s not actually bankrupting the country it’s a small price to pay for ‘democratic ‘ government ?

  • Reader

    Greenflag: What’s the cure ?
    Vote out any party of Government after two terms at the latest, on the grounds that they develop a culture of entitlement part way through the second term.
    And, as you said, transparency would be good. When public representatives want to get their hands on public money they should be sure the public will tolerate the claim.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    So where are the various parties in the league table of shame. Given their track record you would expect Tories at the top – but probably easier to do for Norn Iron. To provide the data we need a name for index e.g. PIS index: (Parliamentary Index of Shysters) and a simple (and transparent of course) means of calculation e.g. Sum involved * dodgy rating(1 to 10) * number of politicians.

  • dewi

    Cleaning moats and Private swimming pools!!

    Tories doing their bit – these are the worst yet methinks.