Skeletons in ministers’ closets (or indeed bedrooms) come back to haunt them

Scrounger: How this former DWP minister can claim to have been tackling skivers after he took more than £100,000 of taxpayers' money that he didn't need must be beyond the comprehension of those of us who really are honest and hard-working.

Scrounger: How this former DWP minister can claim to have been tackling skivers after he took more than £100,000 of taxpayers’ money that he didn’t need must be beyond the comprehension of those of us who really are honest and hard-working.

It’s funny how an old news story can be seen in a completely different light as events unfold.

Take this Mirror article from 2009, detailing how then-shadow ministers William Hague and Chris Grayling claimed £166,178 between them, in taxpayers’ money, to pay for accommodation.

Mr Hague, who was earning £800,000 a year from “part-time jobs”, according to the newspaper – and who among us would not like to have part-time work that paid so well? – pocketed £61,995 to pay mortgage interest and a £4,000-per-year service charge, including use of a gym, on a penthouse in London. Hecleared the mortgage in October 2009, just before MPs were forced to publish details of their expenses, the paper said.

Chris Grayling, now Justice Secretary, claimed £104,183 over six years for a London flat, despite having a family home just 17 miles from Westminster.

Add that money to the £100,000 we know George Osborne had from us, to pay mortgage interest and other expenses on his Cheshire farmhouse, paddock and other land there, and we can see that these three ministers alone have claimed more than a quarter of a million pounds – around £266,000 – that they didn’t need.

Now, they and their government are telling us that they can’t afford to pay us back £14 per week (the bedroom tax), even though the amount of our money that they have taken could pay it 19,000 times!

Having limited benefit uprating to one per cent per year for the next three years, they are telling people on Employment and Support Allowance they cannot pay the extra 67p per week that would mean a rise equal to inflation – even though the amount these three ministers alone have had from us – the taxpayers – would pay that amount 397,015 times.

They’re telling us they can’t pay the 84p extra that would bring Jobseekers’ Allowance up to inflation – even though their expenses claims would have paid it 316,667 times.

They keep telling us that the nation’s credit card is “maxed out” and the Treasury cannot afford to pay benefits to those with the least.

Isn’t it the truth that these super-rich millionaires have been taking all our money for themselves?


28 thoughts on “Skeletons in ministers’ closets (or indeed bedrooms) come back to haunt them

    1. Mike Sivier

      Or you could read the articles here on Vox Political. He used £100,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay the interest on his mortage, and all costs associated with arranging that mortgage. Then he sold the house for £1 million. So, while he never paid a penny of his own money and made £1 million out of it, he had £100,000 from us.

      1. yorksranter

        All the Torygraph’s exies stories ran on the front page with the sole exception of Osborne’s. Amazing how that happens. Some random Labour MP overclaimed tuppence for a CD box – splat it on the hed. Shadow Chancellor caught flipping for £100k – not news.

      2. sparaszczukster

        Mike, did you ever find out any more about the investigation the Met said was being undertaken or who was doing it? I keep looking for updates from you on this. I’d love to see Osborne dragged out of number 10 in handcuffs.

  1. Janette Morris

    well said we have a rotten government through and through just greedy gits with no thought for anyone but themselves lets get them out!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. RVB

    the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…like the artist taxi driver said “this is not a recession it’s a robbery”…the wholesale transfer of billions of pounds of public money into private pockets.

  3. Cherry Austin

    Has anyone done the real-world maths on this? (I’m too tired.) 19,000 x £14 is spectacular, but how many displaced families are there, and how long would the £266k keep them in their homes?

    The amount of ‘scrounging’ (abuse) and profiteering these people have done with public funds is shocking; their cynicism deserves to be highlighted. I’d feel more confident about sharing this angle on the story with more directly-comparable data.

    1. Mike Sivier

      It would pay 365 households’ bedroom tax for a year, for example?
      People can do that kind of maths on their own – the principle of providing examples of how many people’s benefits it would pay just once is well-established (or so it seems to me).
      Number-crunching is fun.

  4. janie mackinnon

    It,s a total utter joke , these so called politicians, don,t give a hoot about the average person in Britian, as long as they,re getting money for basically nothing, and living a good life they don,t care. Yet they sit in their fancy houses , having the best of everything, yet have the damn cheek, to assume that a person on £70 a week can afford to keep a house, pay bills, feed themselves and o have an extra £10 a week to hand out to pay for an extra bedroom, which whether they still need it or not should not be he issue as downsizing is not easy. As far as i,m concerned people like these 2 are the scroungers

  5. jack johnson (@jackjoh01219520)

    Most housing benefit goes on their rich landlord friends inflated private rents,
    if they want to truly lower HB why don’t they allow LAs to borrow long term at
    low interest rates to build 500,000 council houses? That would produce an
    asset that would get people back to work and lower benefits? But that’s too
    much like common sense.Just get the twats out.

  6. Gerald adams

    If the Judges weren’t getting payed by these thugs they would have the guts put them in Gaol and sell their properties and give the money back to the peple.

  7. guy fawkes

    Jack Johnson

    The labour party are also part of the landlord leeching set, when it comes to investments and expenses one party is no better than another. People will only see labour as their saviour because there is not viable left wing alternative and they know it even though they ceased to be a left wing party for many years now.

    1. Ann Lewis

      Get this lot out and replace them with what? Milliband, Hazel Blears and, well, just other crap politicians doing the same thing only slower!

  8. murray

    Same old same old, its them and us again,what difference will it make who is in power,so long as they can claim expenses,nothing will change.The whole system is flawed,and ripe for fraud.M.Ps are paid more than enough for what they do,and should not be able to claim expenses for anything that other normal working people can not legally claim for,under normal circumstances.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Yeah, the whole expenses system, as it is today, was put in place by Margaret Thatcher as a way of giving MPs a pay rise when it wasn’t a popular idea. It should have been scrapped again years ago.

  9. John L Bell

    And who can forget (although I am sure that he wishes we ALL would!) Yooung Grayling’s part palyed in the Atlantic Bridge Tax Avoidance ‘Charity’ Scam ….. hich was found to show no evidence of ‘charitable’ work (excluding, of course politicians’ tax avoidance!) … and had its charitable status revoked?

    I humbly ask!

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