Monday, 21 December 2009

Levitt - already breaking the new rules

Released alongside the expenses details for the year 2008-2009 were details for the first quarter of 2009-2010, under the renamed Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure allowance (PAAE).

This PDF contains the claim forms for April, May and June 2009, which were submitted on 23rd June 2009. In his weekly column two weeks earlier* (entitled 'Humility', without a trace of irony), Levitt had spoken of MPs "indulgences in an anarchic system of spending rules (sic)". Yet the PDF shows that Levitt had not grasped the now simplified expenses rules at all. The PAAE files contain a letter from the Fees Office reminding Levitt of said rules:

Effective from 20 May Members may now only use PAAE to claim rent, including ground rent, hotel accommodation, overnight subsistence, mortgage interest ... council tax, service charges, utility bills ..., insurance.

Therefore, we can no longer reimburse you for Broadband, garage rental and cleaning charges. Your claims have been reduced accordingly.

Levitt had overclaimed by £335. We'll remind Tom of his words in his column of 1st June** (entitled 'restoring trust in politics') - "Let me repeat that where the law has been broken or rules disobeyed then appropriate punishment should follow". In his column of 18th May 2009*** (entitled 'Statement on MPs' Expenses'), Tom made the following statement:

MPs generally are neither criminals nor fools; but we are all human and therefore fallible. Parliament has lost people’s trust and we need to win it back.
Levitt clearly felt so strongly about winning that trust back that just over a month later, he was submitting illegitimate claims. It must be his fallibility - after all, he's only human.

*when this link no longer works, try this screen grab
**when this link no longer works, try this screen grab
***when this link no longer works, try this screen grab

No comments:

Post a Comment