Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday, 10 December 2009

MP's expenses - Danny Alexander

Through the Guido Fawkes blog (here) I was alerted to the fact that anyone can download details (heavily 'redacted' unfortunately) of their own MP's expenses, or indeed any other MP that you may be interested in. The link to search for your MP's expenses is here.

I've downloaded all the available .PDF files for my MP (Danny Alexander [LD] - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey). The files go back to 2005/06 and the latest file relates to 2008/09 and to 2009/10 (the last relating to additioal accommodation claims).

As mentioned earlier the files are heavily "redacted" (it reminds me of reading British newspapers in Saudi Arabia when I lived there - even the FT was often heavily-censored if they were carrying ads for photocopiers or high-powered cars, etc and a bikini-clad girl was a part of the ad), but I have perused a few. Nothing really jumps out as being specially extravagant although why we should be paying for his Sainsbury's (Balham) grocery bill escapes me. The bill dated 26th April 2008 is not very large (it's for GBP41.33) and contains many of the items that anyone might want to buy for general home food consumption - except that we seem on the face of it to be paying in this instance for two bottles of rosé wine (perfectly ordinary bottles, to be sure, costing a mere GBP3.99 and £4.99 respectively). We also seem to be paying for 'Rachels organic kids yoghurts' at GBP1.58 - hardly a fortune of course and this may seem very petty. But why should I be paying for his kid's food?

I understand this is the last time that expenses from before the time when MPs knew they would be published are involved. It will be very instructive to compare and contrast future years' expenses, when MPs know that people with too much time on their hands can pore over their every penny of expenditure and high-light anything that seems 'unusual'.

Finally, I hasten to add that I am not intending to be specially critical of Mr Alexander as an individual; his expenses seem largely unexceptional to me in terms of the levels of his claims and I expect that someone like him has higher legitimate expenses than many urban MPs, specially those whose constituencies are in or close to London. I certainly don't begrudge him his Cox's apples on a regular basis or his satsumas in the House of Commons canteen or other eating-places in the parliamentary estate and his claims are probably no different than those of many other MPs.

2 comments:

  1. I'd like to buy him a bottle of plonk from Sainsbury's Nairn.

    ReplyDelete
  2. £400 a month food allowance, free travel, mortgage interest, utility bills paid and no need to do any real work.

    Claim for everything an bank the basic wage of £64 grand almost untouched.

    I may stand for MP myself, sounds to good to miss out on.

    ReplyDelete

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