In 2009 an expenses scandal broke. It involved some UK politicians. Court cases and sentences followed, the majority of those found guilty hailing from the Labour Party. It was obvious that the arrests and charges were just the tip of the iceberg. Common sense told you that there would be more and there have been. What is perhaps shocking is that the abuse has continued and those responsible claim they are doing nothing wrong.
The latest is Tory MP Maria Miller. She is a Member of Cameron's Cabinet holding the position of Culture Secretary. So what accusations have been levied against her?
It is alleged that she claimed more than £90,000 in expenses for a second home which was actually the home of her parents. This so called second home is a large detached property. Her expense claims were for the mortgage and other costs.
Of course Ms Miller will be repentant, I hear you say. On the contrary she like others before her has claimed that she has done nothing wrong. The house at the centre of the scandal has been her parent's home for two years.
The Daily Telegraph, a newspaper that initiated investigations in the past, began to delve into the affairs of Miller. Here is what they found:
Mrs Miller, a former advertising executive, and her husband, a partner in a City law firm, bought a double-fronted terrace house in an upmarket south London suburb in January 1996 for £234,000.
David Cameron has come out in support of Miller claiming that she does an excellent job. She may do but that does not answer any allegations. Her expense claims have already been audited twice and no wrong doing has been found. However it was the Tory Party that audited her claims not an independent body.
A representative of Miller, it is claimed, tried to put pressure to bear on the Telegraph to pull the story. Veiled threats about what press restrictions the government may put in place following the Leveson inquiry were apparently mentioned.
Miller's expense claims will now be investigated by John Lyon, Parliament's Commissioner for Standards. This follows a formal complaint by a Labour MP who cited a previous case. In his, and most people's eyes the case against Ms Miller is exactly the same as the one against Labour's Tony McNulty who had to pay back more than £13,000 in expenses in 2009. These had been spent on a second home occupied by his parents.
What a shower and a disgrace. In recent weeks we have heard the coalition spouting about companies such as Google and Starbucks which have legally evaded paying UK tax. Welfare scroungers as they like to call them have also been verbally attacked. The companies did nothing wrong legally but most people feel they have acted inappropriately, by manipulating the system. Talk about a government throwing stones whilst occupying a glass house.
These same politicians are restricting housing benefit for the unemployed, sick and disabled leaving many people facing a house move. Yet we are supposed to sit back and see nothing wrong with a fat cat Tory politician setting her parents up in an overpriced home, with British taxpayers footng the bill. Unbelievable.
John Lyon will have to be consistent. In rhe case of McNulty he decided that he "had effectively "subsidised" his relatives from the public purse, allowing them to live rent free."
What is different in the case of Miller and her parents? Nothing it seems. She can continue to claim differently but we shall see.
It does make you wonder how many more of them are screwing the system. If past experience is anything to go by many could be the answer.
To misquote Shakespeare Something is Rotten in the Houses of Parliament and we all know what.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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