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calendar   Tuesday - May 26, 2009

Political gloom and doom as more ministers face unforgiving public. But no financial worries or

No financial worries and so far, NO prosecutions.

This is the front page of the morning paper, and this stuff is in its 18 day I believe.

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Well now here’s what that’s about and this is small compared to some. Man, what a gravy train these folks have been riding. For years. No wonder they’re smiling.

COUPLE WHO GAVE TAXPAYER-FUNDED HOME TO THEIR CHILDREN RESIGN AS MPs

Sir Nicholas and Lady Ann Winterton, the veteran Conservative MPs, are to resign from parliament at the next election.

By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 6:41AM BST 26 May 2009

The couple, who were censured by the parliamentary standards watchdog last year over their use of expenses, said they would not stand for re-election as the MPs for Macclesfield and Congleton.
They said they could not maintain the “hectic pace” of politics and wanted to spend more time with their family.

The pair became the 11th and 12th MPs to leave or announce they would leave their positions since the Telegraph’s investigation into MPs’ expenses began.
In 2002, after paying off the mortgage on their £700,000 London flat with the help of taxpayer-funded expenses, the couple gave the property to a family trust controlled by their children.

They then claimed more than £120,000 in expenses to rent the flat from their children over six years.
The decision to pass ownership to their children was aimed at avoiding paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in inheritance tax.
An investigation by Sir John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, found in June last year that they had broken Commons rules by renting a property from family members.
David Cameron, the Tory leader, described their actions as “indefensible”.

In a letter to Mr Cameron yesterday, Sir Nicholas, 71, and Lady Winterton, 68, said they wanted to “pass the baton to a younger person”.
“Maybe the years are taking their toll and perhaps we can no longer represent Macclesfield and Congleton with the some level of energy and enthusiasm as in the past,” they wrote.

Yeah right. Energy and enthusiasm. Has to take a lot of that to fiddle the system and avoid taxes the rest of us HAVE to pay!

Mr Cameron thanked them for their “service, energy and commitment”. Sir Nicholas has been MP for Macclesfield for 37 years, while Lady Winterton has represented Congleton for 26.
Their decision to quit adds weight to suggestions that the scandal is aiding Mr Cameron politically, in allowing him to clear “bed blockers” from safe Tory seats and install candidates more in line with his “liberal Conservative” outlook. Sir Nicholas has a majority of 11,401 and Lady Winterton one of 8,246. Their decision to leave at the next election rather than now means they will each receive between half and all of their £64,766 salary for the year after they resign.
They will also each receive a £40,799 “winding-up allowance” and a pension worth about £30,000 a year.

The couple join a growing list of MPs who have announced they are standing down or are being forced out after the Telegraph’s investigation. Michael Martin is to resign as Commons Speaker and MP for Glasgow North East next month, while Shahid Malik, the justice minister, stood down pending an inquiry into his claims. Andrew MacKay, the MP for Bracknell, resigned as an aide to Mr Cameron and said he would not stand for re-election. The Tories Sir Peter Viggers, the MP for Gosport, Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham), and Anthony Steen (Totnes) will stand down at the next election. Ben Chapman, the Labour MP for Wirral South, is to stand down, while Elliot Morley (Scunthorpe) and David Chaytor (Bury North) were suspended by the Labour Party. All three claimed for “phantom mortgages”.

Ian McCartney, the former Labour Party chairman who made questionable claims, said he would not seek re-election for “health reasons”. Up to half of MPs could leave Parliament by the election due to resignations, retirements and electoral defeats.

SOURCE

So they still make out like bandits, don’t they? £40,000 for winding up?  That’s closing their offices guys. Think almost $80,000. And they get pensions etc.
Nice work if you can get it, and many have.  But wait a minute.  Here’s just one more for today. And believe me, there are 100dreds.

MPs’ brother buys gadgets and they appear on her expenses
Julie Kirkbride, the embattled Conservative MP, claimed £1,000 in taxpayer-funded office expenses to pay for computer equipment bought by her brother.

By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 9:32AM BST 26 May 2009

The equipment, which included a digital camera, was bought by Ian Kirkbride, and delivered to him at the MP’s publicly funded “second home”, where he has lived rent-free for five years.
Miss Kirkbride, 48, then put the receipts through her office expenses account, and successfully claimed the money back. During the same period, she separately claimed £220 for another digital camera for her office.

Mr Kirkbride, 59, bought a digital camera, five memory cards, four internet routers, three external hard drives, a computer printer, map software and a battery. The items, which totalled £1,000.52, were delivered to him at Miss Kirkbride’s Redditch flat between March 2005 and October 2007.
He works as an IT consultant from the property, which is near Miss Kirkbride’s Bromsgrove constituency. She claims he also lives there to help care for her eight-year-old son, Angus. Asked yesterday why she needed the cameras, Miss Kirkbride said: “I record my work as an MP in pictures.
“I often ask my brother to source IT equipment for me … These items were bought by my brother, on my instructions,” she said.

Miss Kirkbride has bought several other electrical items in her own name in the past four  years. She bought another internet router for herself in June last year and had it delivered to her property in West minster. She also pays for a “home office” internet service for her London flat.
In December 2005, she claimed £50 from her office expenses to pay for 200 correspondence cards bought by her brother. Miss Kirkbride said yesterday that the cards had been produced for her.

She claimed £500 for a television in 2005, and then tried to claim £765 for an LCD television in February 2008. But after discussions with officials, they agreed it should be paid for from her second home expenses.

Between March and May 2005, she also claimed £1,000 for two photo shoots and prints. She then claimed £1,020 for another photo shoot in October 2006.
The disclosures come after Mr MacKay announced on Saturday that he would stand down as MP for Bracknell at the next election.

He was pushed to make the announcement by David Cameron, the Tory leader, after constituents expressed their anger over the couple’s use of expenses. Over the past eight years, they have claimed almost £250,000 in second home expenses by designating two different properties as their “second home”.
Miss Kirkbride designated the couple’s Westminster home as her main address and claimed expenses on the property in Redditch, where her brother lived. Meanwhile, Mr MacKay claimed second home expenses for the property in London.


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Posted by peiper   United States  on 05/26/2009 at 09:46 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifePoliticsUK •  
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