We are now fed a nearly daily diet of stories about MPs claiming expenses for things they shouldn’t be entitled to. Therefore, one can only be impressed when a story emerges in which the MPs involved have gone to a new low in terms of what they think they can get away with on their expenses form:
“The health minister Ann Keen is this weekend revealed to have insured her 70-year-old husbandâ€™s life for Â£430,000 â€“ and to have claimed the premiums on parliamentary expenses. Keen took out a joint HSBC â€œfirst deathâ€ policy with her husband Alan, also a Labour MP, which meant if one of them died the other would get the payout.
The Â£867 monthly premiums were submitted as part of their parliamentary expenses. The couple are already entitled to generous payouts if one of them dies under the Commons pension scheme. Details of the policy have been released after a three-year freedom of information battle by The Sunday Times. Michael Martin, the Speaker, was forced to publish the expenses of 14 MPs after spending more than Â£200,000 of taxpayersâ€™ money trying to block their release.”
The worst news was that such claims were actually considered valid. The Keens are already fairly notorious for claiming tens of thousands of pounds every year for a flat in Westminster, even though their constituency home is only nine miles away from Parliament.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Current affairs