Thursday, 19 February 2009

Jacqui's in the Poo

It seems to me that there are three issues to be considered in the Jacqui Smith second home saga, putting aside one's urge to stick the boot into the most over-promoted NuLab Blair babe of them all.

First, let's look at precedent.

The Trend ruling - Michael Trend got done essentially because he claimed his 'Westminster village' bolt hole was his main residence and claimed Parliamentary allowances to cover the running cost of his family home outside London. Clearly guilty.

The Balls/Cooper ruling - This dubious duo argued that it was reasonable for them to register their family home outside London as their official residence even though they did not live there most of the time. The ruling said that, although the couple did not abide by the usual rules, no further action would be taken because the couple had not benefited financially from the arrangement, as they in fact spent more on capital gains tax as a result of their arrangements. (Morons - Balls is the muppet who helped the one eyed Scottish idiot run our economy for 10 years and now we discover he can't even work out out how to run his own allowance scam!) It did however recommend that married/cohabiting MPs should no longer be entitled to claim both allowances (each of £24k although they did not take it all). So guilty but let off essentially.

Smith's argument, that a room in her sister's London flat is her main residence and her family home where her husband and children live is where she should be allowed to claim Parliamentary allowances, just does not hold water. It is very clearly Michael Trend all over again. It will be astonishing and outrageous if the authorities do not follow the Trend logic.

Second, simplicity.

If you make any allowance scheme complex, it is always poorly understood and open to loop holes. (Sadly, this is the Brown way on all matters relating to UK tax rules). There probably are MPs who think they are doing something within the rules that aren't. There probably are MPs trying to fiddle the rules for their own pecuniary benefit. The whole system needs an overhaul and simplification and independent enforcement and oversight (see yesterday's post). The test of 'will any reasonable person believe this' should always be applied.

Third, terminology.

This is our fucking money!!!!! MPs need to stop talking about 'Parliamentary allowances' or 'Government funding' or any other weasel words. They need to always call it TAXPAYERS' MONEY. If they spend it unwisely, then they should lose their jobs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What gets my goat is that Smith said she was abiding by the rules, but they make up the bloody rules!

DD52 (again)