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BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK

Arthur_itus 29 May 10 - 04:26 AM
s&r 29 May 10 - 04:41 AM
s&r 29 May 10 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 29 May 10 - 06:26 AM
Leadfingers 29 May 10 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Joseph 29 May 10 - 06:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 06:48 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 May 10 - 07:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 07:39 AM
Seayaker 29 May 10 - 07:43 AM
s&r 29 May 10 - 08:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 08:31 AM
Smedley 29 May 10 - 08:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 08:50 AM
Stu 29 May 10 - 09:49 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 May 10 - 09:49 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 May 10 - 10:08 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 May 10 - 10:47 AM
Arthur_itus 29 May 10 - 11:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 29 May 10 - 12:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 01:14 PM
Royston 29 May 10 - 01:18 PM
Bonzo3legs 29 May 10 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 29 May 10 - 01:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 01:58 PM
Arthur_itus 29 May 10 - 02:44 PM
s&r 29 May 10 - 02:57 PM
Arthur_itus 29 May 10 - 04:59 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 May 10 - 06:12 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 May 10 - 06:17 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 May 10 - 06:18 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 May 10 - 06:24 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 May 10 - 06:28 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 May 10 - 06:33 PM
GUEST 29 May 10 - 06:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 May 10 - 06:37 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 May 10 - 07:01 PM
Smedley 29 May 10 - 07:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 May 10 - 07:38 PM
s&r 30 May 10 - 02:30 AM
Backwoodsman 30 May 10 - 03:12 AM
Smedley 30 May 10 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Doc John 30 May 10 - 05:10 AM
Arnie 30 May 10 - 05:54 AM
Rog Peek 30 May 10 - 06:26 AM
Backwoodsman 30 May 10 - 06:34 AM
Rog Peek 30 May 10 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Doc John 30 May 10 - 07:49 AM
Lox 30 May 10 - 08:36 AM

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Subject: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 29 May 10 - 04:26 AM

Blimey, when does all this expense controversy stop?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8712383.stm

Avoidence of the truth seems to be the issue here IMHO

So, it would appear that he has been living in his partners property and paying him rent of £40000.

He has tried to keep his private life from the general public and fair enough, anmd stated that his partner is not his partner.

However, the rules seem to say that he is not allowed to claim expenses whilst living with your partner.

By doing what he has done, was/is cheaper for the country. So should he be excused?

One part of me says "No he shouldn't be excused and should resign" and the other part says "Give him another chance and sort out another loophole."

Open for discussion, but please refrain from flaming and insulting fellow Mudcatters.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: s&r
Date: 29 May 10 - 04:41 AM

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

Spouse Partner Landlord........

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: s&r
Date: 29 May 10 - 04:50 AM

I think on reading the article that I'm more concerned that the man he's living with is described as a lobbyist.

So if you want access to the government...

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:26 AM

I've never lived in London, so am not familiar with rental costs there, but "up to £950 per month" which is reported to be the amount charged for a single sub-let room, seems incredible to me whatever the other circumstances.

Georgina


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:28 AM

I THINK it was Al Capone who said that the definition of an Honest Politician was one who STAYED bought !


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: GUEST,Joseph
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:33 AM

While the neo liberals have been demanding cuts in our standards of living Laws has been lining his pockets in a very dodgy way.
Of course he should sacked...we can't have one law for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us.
Imagine if it had been Rosie the barmaid at the 'Duck and Drake' who had been claiming illegaly and had then been caught. She would have been named and shamed on the front page of the local press and punished as a warning to all.
If he doen't go it will remind working class people that the powerful do not practice what they preach.
Joseph


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:48 AM

All sounds a bit odd. Evidently, if he'd bought a house or rented a house on expenses, that would have been quite OK, even if it cost more than the rent he actually claimed, and if he'd then rented a room out to his friend/partner, and pocketed it, that would have been OK well.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:05 AM

If he has acted within the rules laid down by Parliament, it's typical of the media to try and string him up. But if he has not, then he must accept the consequences. Cameron must decide whether or not it is "in the country's interest", first uttering "issyoooos" 20 times, and act accordingly.

I would certainly like to see a section 9a enquiry into his last 3 or 4 Tax Returns!


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:39 AM

What's "partner" mean anyway? I'd take it, in this context as meaning the same kind of total commitment as a marriage/civil partnership, but without having gone through the formal legal procedure.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Seayaker
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:43 AM

If you want to find out how little things have changed since the expenses scandal and the election go to the BBC Radio 4 Today program website and listen to the weasel words of Jeremy Brown MP trying to justify this.(Laws expenses story "a massive distraction")

Nothing changes; probably never will.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: s&r
Date: 29 May 10 - 08:29 AM

Partner means what he wants it to mean Kevin

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 08:31 AM

So if he says it's not a partnership, he is by definition right?


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Smedley
Date: 29 May 10 - 08:36 AM

I wonder how Laws' partner feels today. You share your life with someone for nine years, you live together, sleep together, but you're not regarded as a ''''partner''''. Lovely to see how Laws' desperation to stay in the closet, allied to his all-consuming political ambition, can lead to him, at least in public, disowning & betraying the person he's been with for nearly a decade.

(If the context helps, I write this as a happy homo, with a long-term mixture of pity and dismay towards those who don't come out.)


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 08:50 AM

For all you know the other bloke might have wanted to stay in the closet as well. No point in being judgemental without facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Stu
Date: 29 May 10 - 09:49 AM

"If he has acted within the rules laid down by Parliament, it's typical of the media to try and string him up."

I disagree. There are moral obligations to be taken into account here and if Laws is basically lining the pockets of his partner that's wrong for a man supposedly practicing the 'new politics'.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 May 10 - 09:49 AM

""So, it would appear that he has been living in his partners property and paying him rent of £40000.""

£40,000 over eight years = £5,000 per annum

That is £100 per week.

I pay more than that for my ex council (now housing association) house.

Seems to me he saved the tax payer a considerable amount of money.

And while we're on the subject, has anybody wondered just why the "Telecrap" smothered that revelation until it would do the greatest possible damage, while selling a pile of extra copies?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 May 10 - 10:08 AM

"That is £100 per week."

What happened to the 'up to £950 a month' for renting this supposed room? The figures seem a bit indefinite.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 May 10 - 10:47 AM

I wonder what expenses Cristina Kirshner, president of Argentina, draws for her 8 houses!!


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 29 May 10 - 11:30 AM

Don
You say Quote
£40,000 over eight years = £5,000 per annum

That is £100 per week

End of quote

I would like to say that surely he didn't stay there 52 weeks of the year, did he?

We would need to know how many days he was in Parliament per annum.

Anybody got any ideas?


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 12:15 PM

So long as the rent is a reasonable one, why should it make any difference who it is paid to? Landlord, lover or council.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 29 May 10 - 12:56 PM

The rent to lover/family member explanation wouldn't work for someone claiming Housing Benefit, so it shouldn't apply to people being paid out of other public funds (i.e. our money) either.

Georgina


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 01:14 PM

I can't see the logic of it whether it's Housing Benefit or Parliamentary expenses.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Royston
Date: 29 May 10 - 01:18 PM

Another one with his finger in the tills.

Or to put it another way: A mendacious, cheating, untrustworthy git.

Or to put it another way: A Liberal Democrat sell-out traitor. What more should we expect?


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 May 10 - 01:31 PM

The rent to lover/family member explanation wouldn't work for someone claiming Housing Benefit, so it shouldn't apply to people being paid out of other public funds (i.e. our money) either.

I can't imagine what Housing Benefit has to do with it??


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 29 May 10 - 01:52 PM

I assume the Telegraph is giving £950 as the top monthly amount because they've got the specific detail straight from the House of Commons Fees Office information that started all the coverage in the first place.

And ultimately, transparency and fairness IS important when you're dealing with public money. It might be cheaper to appoint a chum to a job because they're a perfectly splendid and capable type and its saves the money for advertising and talking to loads of other people, but it's neither demonstrably fair nor transparent. Renting a room off a chum or family member, needs to pass a market test and allow other potential landlords their chance to quote a lower price and save the public's money.

MPs or Benefit Claimants, they all need to show they're making lawful use of our money.


Georgina


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 01:58 PM

I still can't see why it makes any difference who the landlord is, aside from the case where there is a shared legal ownership of the property through marriage or civil partnership.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 29 May 10 - 02:44 PM

It would seem that Law does not live with his boyfriend 24/7, but only on occasions when he is in LOndon, serving his country.

I would have thought that was acceptable.


How many of us, if staying at a friends house overnight, wouldn't find some way of compensating them.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: s&r
Date: 29 May 10 - 02:57 PM

Am I the only one who has any concern that a Minister has a shared and hitherto secret liaison with a lobbyist?

Stu

PS "it means what I want it to mean" is nonsense from the pen of Lewis Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 29 May 10 - 04:59 PM

He has resigned


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:12 PM

""What happened to the 'up to £950 a month' for renting this supposed room? The figures seem a bit indefinite.""

The up to £950 for central London lettings was mooted as the going market rate, CS, not what Laws was paying.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:17 PM

I've been wondering how he and indeed the press would have handled the 'story' if (like plenty of mature professional men of his ilk, with families and reputations etc.) he'd have been providing his long-term mistress with public funds in return for sharing her bed a few times a month? I'm quite certain the press would have been all over a woman like flies, his desire for privacy would have been ridiculed, and she'd have been rendered as some kind of courtesan (gold digging slut) for starters..


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:18 PM

Thanks for the clarification Don.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:24 PM

""Am I the only one who has any concern that a Minister has a shared and hitherto secret liaison with a lobbyist?""

Unless it can be proved that there was any favour gained by that lobbyist, and further proved that there is a liaison, other than friendship, then you are (rightly) the only one concerned.

I am more concerned at the reason the Telegraph sat on this one until now.

If I were a cynic, I might advance the theory that the story was a non runner until Laws achieved some prominence in government, and that the furore is a deliberately orchestrated attempt to sell an extra million copies without regard or concern for the damage caused.

Modern newspapers are the last place a sensible man would look for news, and they are not even absorbent enough for use in place of bog roll.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:28 PM

"I am more concerned at the reason the Telegraph sat on this one until now.
If I were a cynic, I might advance the theory that the story was a non runner until Laws achieved some prominence in government, and that the furore is a deliberately orchestrated attempt to sell an extra million copies without regard or concern for the damage caused."

I think you're spot on Don. No cynicism needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:33 PM

Incidentally, the comment about how many times he occupied the room is, IMO, a red herring.

Firstly, an MP is likely to be called to London at short notice, and for that reason the room would have to be available all the time Parliament was in session, so a rent of £100 per week would seem more than reasonable.

Secondly, the total he drew over eight years amounted to £40,000 regardless of when the claims were put in and settled. So if he ever did draw £950 in one go, that strongly suggests that the amount represented nine and a half months' rent.

Even the fees office stated that he could have taken accomodation at a much higher rent, and claimed for it.

Jst another newsrag witch hunt, to which all the slavering left wingers respond like Pavlov's dogs to the dinner bell.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:36 PM

Just so there's no misunderstanding, it seems the actual amounts of rents are now on record:

According to his expenses claims, from April 2004 Mr Laws claimed £700 a month to cover the rent in his partner's flat. The MP's monthly rent rose to £780 at the beginning of January 2005, and then to £920 in February 2006.

He also claimed for telephone bills, maintenance and cleaning at the flat.

Georgina


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 May 10 - 06:37 PM

I can't see any reason to think there'd have been any particular shock about an unmarried MP needing a place to stay in London renting a room in a lady friend's house.

And I'd question whether there'd have been any automatic assumption that they were "partners", even if there was reason to think that they were both heterosexuals.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:01 PM

OK

2004 160 per week.
2005 180 per week.
2006 212 per week.

Still only £40,000 in eight years, an average for the whole period of £100 per week.

So, doing the math, the rents at the start of the period must have been much lower than £100 per week.

Whatever way you work it out that averages out below council house rent for a property thirty miles out of London.

For the central area of greater London it is seriously below market price.

They should be thanking him for his frugality, not hounding him to resign.

It's doubly unfair when you know that New Labour has only "suspended" those of their mob who are being prosecuted, one of them for claiming mortgage payments on a mortgage already paid off, showing how much concern they have for honesty and openness.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Smedley
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:15 PM

None of the Labour MPs facing prosecution were in high office. They certainly weren't presiding over punitive cuts in public expenditure.

They are crooks, I quite agree. But Laws is a not just a crook but also a hypocrite, and consumed by self-hatred. Not somebody I want in such a position of pwer.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws apologisesUK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 May 10 - 07:38 PM

So if I understand you correctly Smedley:-

1. Keeping your private life private is self hating and hypocritical.

2. Claiming a legitimate expense well below what would have been accepted at the time, becomes a crime when the person receiving payment is, without evidence, presumed to be in a relationship closer than mere friendship.

3. This "crime" is, in your estimation, more reprehensible than out and out obtaining money by fraud.

4. The "crime" is automatically made more serious by the fact that, months after the expenses scandal has been dealt with, the "criminal" is given a high profile job, while the fraudsters remain minor figures in a discredited ex government.

There doesn't seem to be any bar to New Labour promoting those who had to pay back large sums, but of course that happened before they were kicked out of Downing Street.

And the reason why Laws wasn't mentioned by the Telegraph back then, was precisely because he wasn't important enough to sell extra copies, and his offence (if any) was minor, to say the least.

I think, my friend, you really need to apply some more logical reasoning to your position on this.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: s&r
Date: 30 May 10 - 02:30 AM

Pretending to believe that a spouse is only a spouse if you share bank accounts or go to the same disco while you share an intimate life is a trifle disingenuous though...


Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 May 10 - 03:12 AM

For once I have to agree with Don. Laws claimed comparatively modest amounts, well within the allowable limits, and on that score I don't see that he's done anything wrong.

His private life is just that, if he's a closet homo and wants to stay in the closet, that's his prerogative, and that part of his life should be left alone by our arsehole-press - it's not illegal, presumably his boyfriend is over the legal age of consent, and therefore it's got sod-all to do with anyone else.

But Stu has a valid point about the disingenuity of claiming for rent when you are giving it to someone you share your life with - it stinks of self-enrichment. Does anyone truly believe that it's usual for one party in a personal (as distinct from business) relationship, who happens to own the property they jointly live in, to charge the other party rent? Don't fink so. It's more than likely that 'paying rent' to the boyfriend was a ploy in the plan to keep the nature of the relationship secret, to make it appear to be a landlord/tenant relationship rather than a personal one.

Whatever - the guy resigned, he did the honourable thing. Let's leave the pair of them alone, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Smedley
Date: 30 May 10 - 03:27 AM

Sexuality is not a private matter. If it were, then David Cameron would not parade his pregnant wife at every sordid vote-grabbing opportunity. Heterosexuality is massively, inescapably public.

Homosexuals who skulk, terrified, denying who they are, contribute to the oppresion of all other homosexuals. So my sympathy for those self-hating homos, who like Laws often seek gain through masquerading as something they are not, is zero. I am rather hard-line on this, but sometimes you have be.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 30 May 10 - 05:10 AM

Don't forget expenses are on top of an MP's aleady genereous salary and OUR money. Perhaps if he'd paid the rent out of his salary and claimed tax relief, that would have been more understandable. He was cheating and knew he was cheating, especially after the last parliament's scandal, so good riddance to him. How can such a man possibly judge those on benefits. Imagine how the law would come down on a woman on benefits who did a few hours cleaning for a few pounds. Futhermore Mr Laws became a millionaire in banking at an early age; people only become so rich so quickly by others becoming poor. How can such a man understand or dare to set himself over us. Doing a good job? Don't make me laugh. Governments waste millions and the office junior in an back street accountant's office could find them and cut them.
So go ... and don't come back.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Arnie
Date: 30 May 10 - 05:54 AM

Doc John - well said! I was also thinking along those lines. Here we have a millionaire who wanted to keep his private life private. So didn't it occur to him not to claim £40,000 in illegal expenses? He could have bought himself and his partner a house, or several houses in London and still have plenty of change. The expenses rules changed in 2006 and explicitly forbade paying rent to spouses or partners. Laws was aware of this but chose to continue claiming illegally until found out. His judgement is thus shown to be distinctly suspect and this alone should rule him out of high office at the Treasury when what we need in our present predicament is someone who displays sound judgement. It's a shame the job wasn't given to Vince Cable.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Rog Peek
Date: 30 May 10 - 06:26 AM

Is this the Vince Cable who this morning said it would have been ok for Laws to remain in his job?

Rog


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 May 10 - 06:34 AM

Whether he 'needed' the expenses he claimed, and whatever his financial circumstances are or aren't, are not at issue, Arnie. MP's expenses aren't a means-tested benefit. They are reimbursement of costs paid by the MP as a necessary consequence of his employment.

But I agree with you that he broke the rules, and, of course, by resigning he ruled himself out of that high office you mention. And I agree about Vince Cable.

So end of, as far as I'm concerned.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Rog Peek
Date: 30 May 10 - 06:35 AM

By the way, Mr. Laws is a man whose claims for expenses, as I understand it, were significantly reduced when submitting receipts became a requirement. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

Rog


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 30 May 10 - 07:49 AM

MP's are complaining that they have to submit receits and pay first only to be reimbursed later. What world do they live in? When I attend a course - which I have to by law (via the MP's, of course) - I have to submit even a £1.00 parking charge or I'm not reimbursed (via the MP's of course again) and even though I have no choice but travel by car and park in the only possible place.


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Subject: RE: BS: TreasuryMinister David Laws resigns UK
From: Lox
Date: 30 May 10 - 08:36 AM

Georgina,

£950 for a flat in London is actually pretty modest you may be amazed to find out.

In the gritty south east I was paying £750 a month for a 1 bedroom flat. My current 2 bedroom flat is £875 per month, and that is at a special discount rate because I and my daughter were what the landlady was looking for, so she was prepared to make it affordable so we could move in and look after her place for her.

Laws would have had his flat in a considerably more expensive area, so I would suggest, as nuts as it sounds to someone from outside London, that he was also getting a bargain.

When I lived in Leicester I had a large 3 bed house for £450.

Yes it is crazy!


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