18 May 2009

I'm trying hard to be sympathetic, but ...

More than slightly embarrassing. All those MSPs sitting on potential profits earned by virtue of the soon-to-be-defunct Holyrood accommodation allowance. I rather sense that they were hoping that we might just forget about the matter. Then that LibDem leader had to go and say that his Westminster MPs would hand back any profits from selling their second homes down south. But did he think about Tavish the Viking with a potential profit of £100,000 on his property transactions?

And, of course, the profits won't be realised before the house concerned is sold. I don't imagine that Tavish could cough up £100,000 just like that. The same goes for the Presiding Officer (£125,000) or John Swinney (£95,000). But, assuming house prices resume their upward movement shortly, the longer they leave it, the more the profits (and the potential cash payback) will grow.

Furthermore, is it fair that wee Hazel gets away with only having to repay the equivalent of capital gains tax (rather than the entire profit)? Hugh Henry (£92,400) would no doubt have a view.

But, if one of then caves in to the demand for hand-back, then the rest of them might have to follow suit. It will all end in tears, I fear.

Helpfully, The Herald lists the MSPs who are crying into their beer.


subrosa said...

Poor Mike Rumbles :)

Anonymous said...

Poor dears. My heart bleeds for them.