Friday, May 22, 2009

Moats, Ducks, and Nappies

First, some background:

BBC: MP expenses row explained

Most MPs have to live in two places -- in their constituencies and in London where they attend Parliament. They are allowed to claim expenses to cover the cost of running a second home. Details of what has been claimed on second home expenses have never been revealed before the Daily Telegraph got hold of a leaked copy of all the claims. Many MPs have been accused of extravagance, of over-claiming and avoiding tax on home sale.
Now, for the Front Lines/Homeland Security angle:
Douglas Hogg -- who repaid £2,200 [$3,433] apparently claimed for clearing a moat at his country estate -- says he will not fight the next election. [What, nothing for boiling oil?]

The tourism minister claimed £25,411.64 [$40,000] for security patrols at her London home after she was mugged.
Because so many terrorists target the tourism minister. It's not about ordinary crime, of course, because London is a safe place for tourists to visit. Really.

Not security-related, but thrown in for entertainment value:
A Tory MP is to retire after admitting he claimed a £1,645 [$2,567] 'duck island' on expenses - as two Labour ministers face questions over capital gains tax.

The Telegraph suggested the immigration minister had claimed for nappies and women's clothing when submitting requests for expenses. It said it was unclear how these items had been justified because parliamentary rules only allowed payouts for items which were 'exclusively' for MPs' own use.