Sunday, October 18, 2009

MP 'refusing to pay back £7,000'

MP 'refusing to pay back £7,000'

Just read Frank Field's (ex-MP) response about not paying back the some £7000 because of the retrospective change to the rules. He gives a great but flawed example.

The MP added: "Imagine that you have been driving, perfectly legally, through a 30 mile an hour zone at a speed of 25 mph.

"Imagine then your reaction when, five years later, you receive multiple fines as a decision has been taken to change, retrospectively, the speed limit to 20."

Yes, that would be hard to swallow but does not mirror the retrospective change he argues about.

Imagine rather that he's been driving on a road without any indicated speed limit on it (You could also imagine it's a secret road that is for the exclusive use of MPs to cut corners while the rest have to go the long way round)

A reasonable driver would assume by the layout of the road that the speed limit might be 50 mph.

However the local elected politician, not seeing a speed limit sign assumes he can take advantage of this and drive as fast as he likes.

He's caught doing over 100 mph. Well beyond any reasonable and legal obligation (even assuming it may have been 70 mph).

An investigation ensues and it is revealed that he's been driving well over 100 mph down the same (secret) stretch of road for years (Initial attempts by the police and and a public enquiry into the nature of the secret road, it's use and purpose are hindered by the official secrets act).

The road should be closed or made available to all. He should be banned, have his license taken away and fined heavily at a minimum, but to allow him to keep his license with a slap on the wrist he is offered a compromise whereby he admits his guilt and pays a nominal fine instead. The road is kept open for his exclusive use but he promised to keep within the newly agreed and now sign posted speed limit and the tax payer will fork out for the extra policing required to ensure that he does indeed stick to the rules.

That's not how the rest of us law abiding citizens would be treated in the same situation.

Sorry Frank, but you get no sympathy from me. Just because you milked the system and got away with it does not make it 'legal'

from his own website...

However, late on Monday I received along with other MPs a letter from Sir Thomas Legg. He recommends I repay just over £7,000: £1,000 housekeeping costs for each year; £1,800 of other household bills, and £230 which I should have claimed from other allowances.

Sir Thomas correctly points out that over the five year period I claimed twice for three bills amounting to £117. The bills shouldn't have been presented twice nor paid. I regret this and have paid the money back.

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