Double standards: Inquiry into Miller’s expenses – why not Osborne?

Today the BBC tells us the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has opened an inquiry into expense claims by Maria Miller, the culture secretary.

The question is, why has a similar inquiry not been opened into expense claims by George Osborne, that diddled the taxpayer out of £100,000 in order to put a MILLION pounds into his own pocket?

I’m aware a criminal file has been opened on this matter (I requested it, along with many others) but that should not prevent Parliament from examining it as well.

The inquiry into Mrs Miller comes after Labour MP John Mann submitted a complaint about her claims on Tuesday, after a report in the Daily Telegraph that she had allowed her parents to live in a south London house, on which she claimed £90,718 in second home allowances.

In 2009, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards ruled that second homes must be “exclusively” for the use of MPs in fulfilling their Parliamentary duties and that housing a politician’s parents was “specifically prohibited” by the rules.

If so, then why is Osborne getting away with buying a house and paddock on an interest-only mortgage, getting the taxpayer to pay the interest on that mortgage for both as a Parliamentary expense – remember, second homes must be exclusively for fulfilling Parliamentary duties – while claiming on his expenses forms that the money was for the house only, and then selling the lot for more than twice the original price and pocketing every single penny?

A spokesman for Mrs Miller said any suggestion her arrangements are questionable is untrue – well he would, wouldn’t he? I’m sure Osborne would say the same about his own arrangements. That doesn’t make it so.

It’s clear from comments on my previous articles – about both these individuals – that many, many members of the public are just as nauseated by this as I am. I have written to my own MP, seeking clarification of the situation regarding Osborne, and am awaiting a response. I hope everybody reading this has done the same – or is about to.

You can find your MP’s contact details here: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

This isn’t going to go away. We want answers; we need justice.

10 thoughts on “Double standards: Inquiry into Miller’s expenses – why not Osborne?

    1. Mike Sivier

      You’ll be pleased to learn that I have now done this.
      They do have a sneaky little get-out in that information gained from newspaper articles may be deemed not to have been substantiated. I’ve said that the information about Osborne is a matter of fact; it has not been disputed by him and the information is in the public domain for all to see. Hopefully that will be persuasive but my feeling, as always, is “If it can go wrong, it will”.

  1. Smiling Carcass

    Why should a ‘second home’ be so expensive and so far from London; why is it bought at all? Let them have govt accomodation in London, or within commuting (90 minutes) distance, rented.

    If they have a second home, let the cost be capped, at the very least and it must be in London and they cannot claim for existing properties.

  2. Loyal & True (@Govan_Cross)

    Why not just renovate a few old high-rises and insist that politicians live there as their second home?
    Benefits all round. The local area will most certainly be improved if politicians have to live there. Save a fortune on costs for second houses. Plus, when the revolution comes, we’ll know where to go to start it off.

  3. Janice Goodson

    Why should taxpayers pay for them to have a 2nd home, when MANY can not afford a 1st themselves. Most people would move to where their employment is.
    Although i empathise with genuine disabled people, I DO begrudge paying for any disabled parents of Miller, when my daughter who is at high risk of death, is denied incapacity and money stopped and she has to go searching for work. Bet ATOS granted them Incapacity. Wonder if another will walk away from court with stress related issues. Bitter yes! Injustice Yes! Think she should pay it all back and be prosecuted for fraud, but i think will be brushed under the carpet, like many others at a guess. Shame on these Government scroungers. Love from a working class peasant.

    1. Smiling Carcass

      Janice, while I understand your outrage, I would like to explain why MP’s have second homes. Firstly, if their second home in London (and in my view, those normally living outside London must use their London home as their second home; those in or within a 90 minute commute shouldn’t even get a second home) is to enable them to attend parliament and discharge their duties there. If all Mp’s were forced to live in London, then how could they stay in their constituencies and do work there? The reason they are tax-payer funded is to ensure that becoming an MP is not restricted to the wealthiest in society.

      Having said that, it has all got well out of hand, and I advocate a second home allowance cap, at the very least; the allowance to be means tested; all profit from sale of second homes to be returned to the public purse.

      Better still is the suggestion made that second homes should be government owned, minimal to their job of discharging their parliamentary duties and if they want more, damn well pay for it yourselves.

  4. Colin Wilson

    “If they have a second home, let the cost be capped”

    Yes – at the same rate as benefit claimants !

  5. Colin Wilson

    RE: George Osborne

    Dear Mr Wilson,

    Shaun Woodward has asked me to thank you for your email. He appreciates your concern about any breaches of the law and rules relating to MPs’ expenses.

    As you may know the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is a new statutory body responsible for administering the payment of Members’ expenses and investigating alleged breaches of the rules on expenses. As such it is independent of influence from MPs but Shaun is sure that they follow and investigate any areas of concern.

    With regards,

    Nathalie Spells
    Secretary, Rt Hon Shaun Woodward MP

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