29 March 2009

Drp, drip, drip - why are we being screwed?

When I was a bureaucrat - a minor bureaucrat, but a bureaucrat nonetheless - from time to time I would have to claim expenses from my public sector employer. The process invariably involved my signature to certify that the claim was legitimate, that the expenses claimed for were properly incurred within the rules. I have no reason to believe that the House of Commons operates differently in demanding an element of self-certification.

In this context, what is one to make of the latest expenses scandal to hit the Home Secretary, allegedly one of the most senior officers of state? The Telegraph reports:
Ms Smith apologised and promised to pay back money after admitting she "mistakenly" claimed for the television package while submitting a bill for her internet connection.
The £67 bill was submitted last June as part of Ms Smith's expenses, it was claimed.
In a statement, Ms Smith said: "I am sorry that in claiming for my internet connection, I mistakenly claimed for a television package alongside it. "As soon as the matter was brought to my attention, I took immediate steps to contact the relevant parliamentary authorities and rectify the situation. "All money claimed for the television package will be paid back in full."
The amounts are trivial. And leave aside the tawdry nature of the movies' subject matter. But it is really not good enough. Did she not check her claim before it was submitted? To say sorry after she's been found out is frankly pathetic. The scandal of MPs' expenses has surely gone on long enough. Heads must roll.

1 comment:

John A Thomson said...

It's a gravy train and they are taking the piss.

I've also got to question her claiming for the internet connection at her "2nd" home. The public shouldn't be paying in full for an internet connection that is mainly not used by her!

Leaves you to also wonder if she can't keep her expenses straight then how can we trust her judgement on anything else.

The press is rightly out to get her and the other sleazes who're morally devoid of principles.