Picking up the boxes

I picked up my boxes today at 1pm and have spent all day looking through them. Lots to say but I’m just too tired to write about it now! The information was released to the public this afternoon.

Boxes of receipts

Channel 4 caught the action as I picked up my boxes. You can watch the report here.

So far the most comprehensive coverage I’ve seen is in the Daily Mail:
Blair and Brown had new kitchens on the taxpayer, ‘John Lewis list’ of expense claims reveals

I have a piece in this Sunday’s Sunday Times.

5 Responses to “Picking up the boxes”

  1. Bill says:

    A fantastic result for a long battle that should not have been necessary! I hope now that MPs will get the point that they work for the country and are not above public scrutiny. Even to the extent of respecting the wishes of the electorate on the issues of the day rather than ‘listening’ to them and then ignoring them completely!

    All of us who drove a company car were judged by HM Revenue to have a tax liability for this benefit. I wondered if MPs were also taxed on their ‘expenses’ or if they were special cases for the tax office too?

    Thanks you for taking on the fight to reveal this very pertinent information!

    Bill H

  2. Hoover says:

    Hi Heather,

    You’ve done stirling work on this.

    I can’t seem to find the actual documents on the web anywhere – there’s no info on the Commons Estimate Committee page. Any pointers?

  3. Mike Law says:

    I’m not sure if anyone else as raised these points, but it seems to me that the whole system would be much more transparent if:

    1/ Any property purchased by an MP which enables her/him to carry out her/his parliamentary duties should be handed back to the state once that MP is no longer in office (that is if the MP has been claiming expenses against the mortgage payments etc. for that property). The property could then either be sold and the money be used to purchase another property for the next MP for that constituency should they need one, or the property could be handed over to the new MP.

    2/ A nett financial asset limit should be set with regards to those MPs who do wish to claim for payments against second properties. In my view, if a MP has a assets portfolio above £3 million he or she has the means to buy or rent a decent second property without the assistance of the state.

    However, should an MP be in such a position and they do purchase a property in their constituency or London and they find that, once they end their tenure as a MP, the value of the property has fallen, they should be compensated for the loss. This would not apply to those who already owned such property prior to becoming an MP.

  4. jpfife says:

    Now that we have the information there is the follow up question of what next? There should be a campaign to make sure proper procedures are put in place to limit what MPs can claim for. In Scotland On Sunday on 25 May there was a feature about the release of this information and how MPs and looking to challenge it. They also mention a (Labour) MP insuring her husband for $400,000 and claiming the payments back. We have to ensure that MPs only get business expenses, if someone wants to insure their spouse I have no problem with that; I do have a problem with the tax payer picking up the bill for it.

    It’s pretty obvious why MPs don’t want this information in the public domain; with each piece of information that is released to the public they are shown to be more odious and despicable than we previously thought they were.

  5. John L Bell says:

    Dear All,
    Well done again!

    Perhaps now is the time to start a group sweepstake for which MP or MPs will be the first to do ‘time’ for the misappropriation of public funds!

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