Monday, October 12, 2009

MP's Expenses Fiddles

As the row about MPs Expenses starts up again, I do wonder if I'm the only one who doesn't understand the following:

If I were to 'accidentally' claim the full cost of a Buy to Let Mortgage on my Tax Return and then get found out, I wouldn't just be able to say to the Inland Revenue; "Oh sorry about that, I made a mistake because I didn't understand the rules; I'll pay it back"

No, they would say; "OK Mr Chalk and by the way we are fining you the same amount again as it is your responsibility to know the rules."

If I were an officer in the Armed Forces and was discovered to be claiming for something that I was not entitled to, I would be lucky to keep my position. Excuses involving the phrase; "I didn't realise" would simply not be accepted. Once again, it is considered the claimants responsibility to check what they allowed to claim for and if there is any doubt; not to do so.

Why are MPs considered to be above such sanctions? They didn't admit to wrongdoing, they were caught and then confessed to 'errors' and 'mistakes' without any real fear of punishment. Incredibly, some even tried to make a virtue of paying their stolen money back. Since when has paying back what you have dishonestly taken, been considered a punishment? Imagine a judge who said "OK Mr Scrote, just pay back the £50 you nicked from Mrs Miggins and we'll say no more about it."

The first leader to announce that they will unconditionally sack every one of their MPs found to have been wrongly claiming expenses, can have my vote next year. (ie I'll probably save myself a trip to the nearest Primary School)


Marjorie said...

And of course, if the incorrect claim happened to be for tax credits or a state benefit, you would be required to pay it back even if the mistake was made by the government agency, not by you.

Anonymous said...

If it was determined that you were deliberately falsifying your tax return then the state could also come after your house using the civil asset recovery laws.

Chris said...

Oh dear silly Chalky. Laws are only for the little people.

wv: hanann (spooky)

Lord Blagger said...

Ah but think out Brown.

He only wants the most serious offences prosecuted, not all of them.

Perhaps he's in the second set.

MarkUK said...

To be fair to MPs (and I really hate being fair to them, as they're not fair to me), many - but not all - of the claims were actually within the rules then in place.

The fact that these shouldn't have been within the rules has nothing to do with the legality, simply the morality.

The lax expenses situation came about during the '80s when the government of the day (are you listening, Call Me Dave?) decided that MPs deserved more pay but didn't dare raise salary levels.

Lord Blagger said...

1. Why aren't they paying interest on their interest free loans?

2. The money isn't expenses any more so its subject to taxation. (They exempted themselves from taxation on expenses). They need to pay tax or pay a proper rate of interest.

3. Why not use 10% like the DWP does?

By my calculations Brown has got 2,600 pounds from us by not paying interest


Anonymous said...

Sadly, if a scrote steals £50 off Mrs Miggins, Mrs Miggins will be liable to arrest for wasting police time if she reports it.

Brian, follower of Deornoth

phatboy said...

The reason that they do not face any greater sanction is simple... because it would be up to Parliament to sanction them and since Parliament is consituted of all the theiving bastards they will not face a serious sanction.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the core philosophies of the UK Pirate Party - government that is both transparent and accountable.

There are huge problems with our system of government, that rewards those in power, at the expense of those out of it.