Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Telegraph Trying to Big Up a £119 Trouser Press

So the Telegraph have this morning got around to looking at Liberal Democrat MP's expenses saying that they "have made claims just as questionable as their Labour and Conservative counterparts". But as the BBC have said on BBC Breakfast none of it amounts to the kind of claims that have been seen from the other parties over recent days.

First off they make no mention of second homes outwith their constituency or Westminster base. There is no accusation of flipping for financial gain. There is no moat cleaning, stable charges, swimming pools or the like.

There is the dubious nature of the occupancy of Andrew George's flat. But claiming that the Sheffield based leader, who has a growing young family should not be allowed to claim a full second home's allowance without giving reasons (such as the above) why that hay have been the case this years. Also while they attack MPs ludicrous amounts for upgrading their house can they at the same time accuse an MP of more than 20 years from claiming significantly less for refurbishing his London flat? Indeed Menzies Campbell refurbishment is on a leased property not one that he has purchased so no personal gain then. As for £1000 for a King Size bed, if it has the most ergonomic mattress like the one I slept on during 2005 that is about right. As a 30 something ex-athlete it sure helped my aches and pains heaven knows what something like that may do for a 70 something ex-athlete.

So apart from George, Clegg and Campbell all claiming housing allowances it is then the level of 'abuses' that is far less that the other parties. We not talking the thousands of pounds that Conservatives have already promised to pay back in fact in many cases the headline price is not included probably because it isn't as exciting as the items. But £119 for a trouser press for Chris Huhne which when you are constantly living out of suitcases yet needing to be smart. Lembit Opik stupidly claiming a whole £40 for his summons for non-payment of council tax. Nick Clegg's mobile phone calls to family in Columbia and Vietnam £100.

The main worry is that the only leather rocking chair I can find find on Heal's website is in Lib Dem yellow which is fine for standing out in a crowd but surely not in Julia Goldsworthy's London flat. She should probably pay that back on the grounds of taste let alone the luxuriousness and unnessecariousness of it. Update: Although Julia has Tweeted "frustrated the papers didn't report that the furniture was bought ahead of moving into an unfurnished flat, & I didn't claim the full costs". If that is the case clearly the Telegraph are expected the MPs to live in monastic spendour in cells beneath Portcullis House. Though if that is the rocking chair in question my comments on taste still hold.

None of this, with the exception of dubious nature of the George flat and that rocking chair, is hardly as questionable as the other parties claims on numerous luxuries. However, the Lib Dems yesterday were also the first party yesterday to say that no MP would benefit financially from their expenses.

1 comment:

  1. The Lib Dems are a complete embarrassment to British Politics.

    You can't even do sleaze properly.