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Re: I'm sorry
May 16, 2009, 07:10
grufty jim wrote:
This "second home allowance" nonsense is just a way of declaring corruption within the rules. Why didn't British MPs go the route of more transparent democracies and commission a block of small but functional apartments owned by the public for use by MPs when parliament is in session? Why decide upon a system that allows MPs to build up bleeding property portfolios on expenses?

IMO you've pointed to the part of the corruption that absolutely dwarfs all the rest. A rent allowance is obviously the only sensible way to deal with it - capped at a reasonable level and payable only as long as it's needed.
So why did they sanction private ownership and publicly subsidised mortgages? There's only one possible reason: for the past decade or two if you bought a house in London and timed it right you could anticipate a vast capital gain. £500K becomes £1,500,00 and you gain the difference. And here we are tut-tutting about the cost of cleaning a moat!

Here's a suggestion: if paying back bits that shouldn't have been claimed is the order of the day, let's have them pay back the capital gain on that portion of their houses that we've paid for. I wouldn't be surprised if that would mean MPs haven't cost we the taxpayer anything to run, and we might even have made a profit on our investment - as so we should. If we've invested in London property for the past 15 years and come out of it with 0% gain each year, and someone else has pocketed the profit, we're mugs. And if the someone else that gained was the same someone else that set it up that way and is now making a big deal of paying back a footling gardening bill but not the vast capital gain, we're even worse mugs.
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