Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tarnished saints

For some reason, the Daily Telegraph put Caroline Spelman on their list of 'Saints' - clearly forgetting that she was a pioneer in the creative use of expenses, an oversight that set her back almost £10,000 when she had to write a cheque to pay for the nanny that she inadvertently charged to her expenses in 1997.
She has certainly stopped claiming expenses for either of her current UK homes, including the palatial mansion in Dorridge, the Coventry namesake of that national daily has ripped into her for her running costs, which total some £10,000 a year - including a whopping £200 a month on cleaning. So, while she comes in cheaply on the Additional Costs Allowance, she is one of the most expensive MPs when it comes to the costs of Council Tax and utility bills. She did overclaim for one month's council tax, but that can safely be regarded as an oversight.
Will she remain on the list of those marked for canonisation?
The house is classed as her second home - although it did serve as the 'home' address for her other half when he ran as the fifth Tory candidate in the European elections, because it doesn't do to be seen to live outside the constituency, of course.

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