Saturday, 9 May 2009

Hope - Not Charity!

Phil Hope, the care services minister, would appear to be taking the 'care' and 'services' aspects to an unacceptable extreme.

In the article in today's Daily Telegraph, let us look in more detail at the items claimed. It would seem the following examples only appear in the print edition.

£238.53 for 'damaged hall flooring'. How was it damaged? Who damaged it? What was the 'hall flooring'?

£235.25 for kitchen wall and floor tiling. £240 for tiling kitchen floor. £240 for removing kitchen wall and floor tiles. All this for a 9'x8' kitchen? And note that all these amounts would not have required receipts under the old system, being under £250!

His London flat is situated in a block with a communal garden. Unless his lease is something entirely unknown in the legal profession, then any charge for upkeep of the communal gardens will be included in ground rent or as a separate charge for work carried out by gardening contractors. Therefore how does he justify £61.32 for 'gardening materials'? £107.30 for 'gardening equipment'? £120 for a new barbecue? As Commons rules state that only money for the maintenance of a garden can be claimed, how is a new barbecue 'maintenance of a garden'? If a communal garden is maintained as part of the lease, why does he need 'gardening materials' or 'gardening equipment'?

£240 for replacing saucepans? £133,45 for saucepans? £68.49 for replacing frying pans? The last item I can understand, seeing how you landed yourself in one and then jumped out of it! Been indulging in a spot of charivari*, have we?

Last night Mr. Hope said that he had to have "somewhere to live in London in order to carry out my duties in Parliament.....". Bearing in mind also that expenses are for items that allow MPs to fulfill their parliamentary duties, how does a barbecue become a necessary item?

Mr. Hope, you are one crook, amongst many - nothing more, nothing less!

*Charivari - a serenade of banging saucepans etc; (F) serenade with pans to an unpopular person. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary)

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