Our old friend, Anthony Steen, Tory MP for the right-on enclave of Totnes, will pay back 10 per cent of the expenses he claimed on his multi-million pound Devon mansion – apparently he ‘set his own rules’, which wouldn’t be the first time for the disabled-bay parking MP.
The Devon house is his second home, with his first being the rented London flat – a story not unfamiliar in this neck of the woods. But the issue of affordable homes in the sea of second homes is a hot issue. Steen has berated affordable housing as hotbeds of crime.
The money Anthony claimed included £2,858.94 for leaking pipes, £1,318 for a wrought-iron fireplace and £597.14 for lights, and according to thisisplymouth: “An invoice for £459 from a tree expert included work to tag shrubs and consider the need for ‘additional guarding’ against rabbits in the ‘central copse by tennis courts’.”
Meanwhile, neighbouring MP for Teignbridge (and Eurovision Song Contest fan) Richard Younger-Ross has paid back the £4,000 of expenses he incurred on mirrors and a chest of drawers.
There’s a like duh! moment in an otherwise measured argument by, Younger-Ross on thisissouthdevon said: “There is virtually no MP who does not have an expense claim which many of their constituents would consider excessive”.
Surely there’s a clue there about claiming the expense then Richard?
Plymouth Labour MPs Alison Seabeck are all for publishing their expenses, but the extraction of personal details for security means that’s unlikely to happen before next month.
South West minister and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, is set to do the same after he came under fire for his mortgage payments.
Let’s not forget that what could be perceived as financial inpropriety could just be a ‘whoops’ moment. South West MEP Giles Chichester was in some hot water for his financial claims at the European Parliament last year, which were all cleared up.
But what of MEP expenses. And surely UKIP, which protests so much about the waste in Europe, wouldn’t be claiming their expenses… or would they?
And of course, then there are councillors’ expenses to be considered, too (there’s an election coming up doncha know).
Even within the rules, it could come down to accepting the responsibility of your position rather than the opportunity to milk that position
posted by Cptn
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