One of the never ending irritations about politicians is their avaricious love in with the contents of our pockets, vial the route of ‘expenses’. Not that I’m saying fair and just expenses shouldn’t be paid, just that my idea of fair and just seems to be at a polar opposite to what your average politician believes to be fair and just.
The bill for politician spending was almost as much this year as it was before the MPs’ expenses scandal, official figures have shown.
The bill went up by a quarter to nearly £90 million last year.
Politicians spent the money on second homes, staff, travel and office costs – including dozens of iPads.
The figure is now only slightly lower than in the run-up to the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009 after it was exposed by the Daily Telegraph.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) insisted that the rate of claims had remained “stable”.
The total outlay for 2010-11 had been £71 million, and IPSA pointed out this was lower because of the impact of the general election.
In 2008-09, before the expenses crises, MPs claimed £95.6million, while immediately after the scandal, the claims fell to £90.7 million.
Only seven claims of the 35,315 submitted by MPs were not paid by IPSA, of which six were made by the former Environment Secretary Chris Huhne. The claims – for car mileage – totalled only £4.95 together.
Tim Loughton – who was sacked from his Education Minister role in the reshuffle on Tuesday – had an electricity bill of £262 rejected on the grounds that it was a “duplicate claim”.
Mr Loughton’s position in government was taken by the Liberal Democrat David Laws, who had to resign in May 2010 after the Telegraph disclosed he had been paying rent to his partner, which is against the rules.
Chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said “like for like” the rate of claims had been about the same last year, and 99% were within the rules.
Why MP’s need an iPad is anyones guess, most business people still make do with a laptop running Windows software and the occasional glitch that goes with it. I suspect most MP’s simply use them to read the papers and tweet, anything else their secretaries deal with. No I don’t expect MP’s to deal with all the paperwork, that said, I don’t expect them to employ family members either and pocket the change.
Any where other than Westminster the efforts of these toerags to misappropriate public cash would have them escorted off site, facing a police investigation and eventual criminal charges. As for second homes, well I’m sorry, a hotel should be bought near Westminster and MP’s given a room to crash there, they don’t need a house, they just need somewhere to stay, they want a house, they buy one themselves and no they don’t get to charge you or I for the privilege.
It is long past time that Parliamentarians and their profligacy is reigned in, but as Parliamentarians themselves set the rules there is little hope of that until we finally bring them down.
At the moment though, far too little care enough even to vote the corrupt bastards out of power, never mind string them up as they so richly deserve.