Monday, May 11, 2009

David Cameron Gets off Lightly

David Cameron limits claims to mortgage and utilities: MPs expenses - Telegraph

For most of the past five years, Mr Cameron has claimed only for mortgage interest and utility bills on his Oxfordshire constituency cottage. Some years, his Parliamentary expense records are only 20 pages long – compared with expense claims of more than 90 pages for some of his colleagues.
However, senior Labour figures have criticised Mr Cameron’s stance, pointing out that he has a large six-figure mortgage and that the taxpayer is subsidising a valuable cottage for the Conservative leader.

They allege that many senior Conservatives are independently wealthy and can therefore subsidise the extra costs associated with being an MP from their own finances.

Mr Cameron claimed more than £1,700 a month in mortgage interest during two of the years covered by Parliamentary records.

In total, Mr Cameron has claimed £82,450 towards the cost of his second home over the past four years. In the 2004-05 financial year, he claimed the maximum allowance but during 2007-08, he was only the 406th highest-claiming MP.

I think David Cameron is getting out of this lightly. Clearly the easiest way to maximise the amount collected from the ACA was to have a high rent or a high mortgage on the second home. It's clearly easier to secure a high mortgage if you are already rich like Mr. Cameron. As a result, although his claims are "simple" and straightforward, that seems to derive from his greater wealth.

With other cases, in which minute details from receipts are causing embarrassment to individual MPs, we are, it seems, dealing with cases less well off people trying to spend up to a limit that Mr. Cameron reached easily.


Obnoxio The Clown said...

Or you could argue that David Cameron has used his greater wealth not to pull all the other fiddles that other people have.

But I don't want to defend him, as far as I'm concerned, they're all as bad as each other and they all need a good hanging.

Paul Halsall said...

The thing is, Cameron has got as much as anyone else simply by having a huge mortgage on his "cottage."

BSH said...

In effect, I think you could say that Cameron simply claimed on the opportunity cost of being an MP; not frisking the system for everything going.