Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taxi For Ming

Nothing illegal or headline grabbing in this observation I am sure, but me thinks Sir Ming Campbell has tried to, or perhaps had to bend the rules somewhat.

Under his Additional Cost Allowance which is there to cover the cost of an MP’s second home Sir Ming has been charging for a taxi service. This is costing the tax payer anywhere between £60 and £220 per month, typically. This BTW is on top of an additional monthly claim in the region of £125 for “Parking” which one presumes means he is therefore in possession of a car.

Why is Sir Menzies charging us for the taxi’s under his Second Home Expenses when there is an uncapped Travel Expense system which he is already using to claim back his mileage and air travel?

I am going to speculate, and I stress I am speculating - that the Travel Allowance rules state that taxi services are refundable when a standard mileage based cost is applied, but Sir Menzies service invoices have related administration costs, and thus this could prove to be an example of an MP fitting the cost of a comfortable and/or convenient service into a different column to get around a particular rule.... I understand that Sir Menzies has suffered with illness in recent years which affected his hip and I would not wish him any discomfort; but did he and others in the Commons not write the rules in which the MP's themselves do not seem able to meet?

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