Thursday, 18 June 2009

wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred

Now that the heavily censored MP Expenses Claims have been published there is a rush of MPs repaying taxpayers' cash. All three main party leaders are handing back something. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is repaying £150 for a plumbing bill which he mistakenly claimed twice. Tory leader David Cameron giving back £680 claimed for repairs to his Oxfordshire home and Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg is repaying £80.20 for international phone calls.

Most MP’s are saying their claims were made in error. It seems our “Honourable” Members of Parliament have difficulty reading what they are signing. The official form on which these claims were made clearly states they can only claim for additional expenses that are

“wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred to enable you to stay away from your only or main home for the purpose of your Parliamentary duties”

Claims for pipe repairs under tennis courts, council tax for the servants' wing, dog food and of course most cleaning have all hit the headlines as unjustified.

However, how claiming the legal cost of converting the leasehold of your flat to freehold comes under “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” does escape me.

Will we therefore be seeing Hartlepool MP Iain Wright repaying the £1,431.46 he claimed for that very purpose? (Click here for pdf of Iain Wright's Claims) Of course had it been you or I signing these forms there would probably have been a statement somewhere that “false claims may lead to prosecution”

One law for them and another for us?

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