Thursday, 21 May 2009

UK expenses fiasco -This is not from Monty Python

The UK is awash in some absolutely hilarious revelations about the expenses that have been submitted by, and paid to, Members of Parliament. Some of the most egregious have included claims for home cinema systems, cleaning of moats, horse manure and now this one which is for a floating duck house.

The Daily Telegraph which has been drip feeding these revelations has this nugget today

Sir Peter, the MP for Gosport in Hampshire, submitted an invoice for a “Stockholm” duck house to the Commons fees office, claiming £1,645 as part of his MP's expenses claims.

The floating structure, which is almost 5ft high and is designed to provide protection for the birds, is based on an 18th-century building in Sweden. The receipt, from a firm specialising in bird pavilions, said: “Price includes three anchor blocks, duck house and island.”

It was announced on Wednesday that following The Daily Telegraph’s disclosures, Sir Peter will retire at the next election.

Sir Peter became the third veteran Tory MP to announce he will quit over expenses claims, after his second home gardening bills were among the latest claims to be published by The Daily Telegraph.

This morning, David Cameron said the claims by Sir Peter would now go before a scrutiny panel to determine how much money he should pay back.

"I spoke to him last night and I said you are going to announce immediately your retirement or I will remove the Conservative whip and he has announced immediately his retirement," he told GMTV.
His expenses files reveal that he was paid more than £30,000 of taxpayers’ money for “gardening” over three years, including nearly £500 for 28 tons of manure.

I wonder if Sir Peter's ducks are claiming to be non-domiciles as a result of their offshore status.
Not even the script-writers for the Monty Python series could have made this one up.

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