09 May 2009

Snout in the trough?

I suppose it was inevitable. Other MPs may build up property portfolios or invest in attractive kitchen and bathroom facilities. But our Alex thinks of only one thing. The Telegraph reports:
MPs can claim a maximum of £400 per month for food, without having to produce receipts, but questions will be asked why the First Minister spent so much. Commons records show Mr Salmond claimed the maximum allowance for eight months in 2005/6, a total of £3,200.
However, included in Mr Salmond's claim was £800 for the months of August and September 2005, when the Commons was on its summer recess. Mr Salmond voted on July 12, 2005 but was not required to take part in another division until October 12.
The SNP's victory in the 2007 Holyrood election curtailed his appearances at Westminster, but the food claims did not stop.
In the 2007/08 financial year, which covers the period between the end of March 2007 and the start of April 2008, he voted on only six days in the Commons.
However, he still claimed £1,751.50 for food, or more than a third of the maximum allowed for the entire 12 months.

I confess that I do not really understand why I should be expected to subsidise the First Minister's grocery bills when he is on a parliamentary recess ... But yes, you guessed it - it was within the rules.


subrosa said...

I'm not going to defend anyone in this betrayal of the use of taxpayers money but I will say my own MP is seen around the constituency a great deal when parliament is in recess. Does he need to eat? I suppose so and restaurants are cheaper in Perthshire than London.

Not all MPs are on an extended holiday when Westminster is closed.

Anonymous said...

HW, you mentioned in a recent post that the First Minister was looking "tubby". If his grocery bills are £40 a day I think we now know why. By the way "tubby" is kind.