George Osborne's tax funded paddock

#1
George Osborne included the mortgage for a paddock on his taxpayer-funded expenses, Land Registry documents disclose.

The chancellor and his wife Frances bought a Cheshire farmhouse and the neighbouring land in his constituency for £455,000 in 2000, before he became an MP.

Between 2003 and 2009, he claimed up to £100,000 in expenses to cover mortgage interest payments on both the land and the property at Harrop Fold farm near Macclesfield.

The chancellor's farmhouse featured in the MPs' expenses scandal of 2009. It emerged that he had "flipped" his second home allowance on to the property and increased the mortgage. Throughout the lengthy parliamentary inquiry into Osborne's expense claims that followed, there was no mention of the separate land.

But it has emerged that the expenses payments were not only for a house but also for the neighbouring paddock, which is registered separately with the Land Registry.


OH dear we are all in this together yeah right.
 
#2
Do as I say, not as I do.

Now you know why some MP's were demanding their details be kept secret, for their 'protection', naturally.
 
#3
My house is on a piece of land that is listed with the land registry as 2 plots. So it could be a complete non-story.

Which rag is reporting it by the way?
 
#5
Oh why let facts get in the way of wanting tomstring the useless prick up.
The only way they survive not being culled by snipers is because its so hard to choose which one to shoot first:)
 
#6
The really surprising thing about this is that anyone is surprised anymore. Tory MP claims for paddock, Labour
MP still owes ten grand from fiddling, Libdem MP claims for packet of crisps (still in the third league when it comes to fiddling) and no-one bats an eyelid. Of course they're all in it together.
 
#7
Pah! Given what the nice gentleman's generally boneheaded policies have done to UK PLC I'd not be distracted by any minor tax code shenanigans.

In Ireland there's been a whole series of gently investigated instances of leaders flagrantly gouging the public purse for party, crony or an island buying scale of personal advancement. Now you might argue that pervasive culture of neoliberal ethics avoidance, of which this political culture was a cog, finally played a significant part in the demolition of the Emerald Tiger economy and hardly a soul has been convicted let alone jailed but it's that larger disaster not the habituated trousering of brown envelopes that should be the real focus for public outrage.

In contrast all England's political class can manage is petty fogging expenses diddling and the odd bit of mortgage fraud. I can only conclude Oxbridge seems to produce a far lower standard of cute hoor than Trinity.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
What is depressing about all of this is the lack of moral integrity shown by MP's of all parties.

I travel on business from time to time and my company (a large multinational) has a reasonable scale of expenses. I know what I can spend on air fares, hotels, meals, taxis, etc. I understand those expenses are to enable me to do my job in reasonable comfort while away from home. I don't regard the scale of expenses as a maximum to be claimed each day and every day.

Instead I claim what is necessary to do my job - which doesn't necessarily mean me booking the most expensive flight or having a meal that is the most that I'm allowed to spend daily. In short I use expenses to allow me to do my job with a degree of comfort and without being out of pocket personally.

If I have the moral integrity to do that, why can't MP's be the same? It's really very simple - you have to understand what is right and what is wrong and behave accordingly.

And if MP's don't know right from wrong, why are they sitting in parliament and passing laws? Moral integrity should be an essential qualification for parliament.

Wordsmith
 
#9
i can understand the need for mps to have two homes but they have massivly ripped the arse out of it.
Have a pile in the country claim for a flat in london or vice a versa
 
#10
We're all in it together, you know. Not the paddock, obviously - that's got a big 'Keep Out' sign on it.

I'm amazed the UK's Corruption Perceptions Index is so high. Somebody must have been bribed.
 
#11
...

If I have the moral integrity to do that, why can't MP's be the same? It's really very simple - you have to understand what is right and what is wrong and behave accordingly.

And if MP's don't know right from wrong, why are they sitting in parliament and passing laws? Moral integrity should be an essential qualification for parliament.

Wordsmith
I can't say I've witnessed a great deal of such personally enforced restraint amongst the over rewarded.

High rolling corporate folk do often treat expenses as a huge beano and opportunity to show out. After all they know full well blowing a few K on a well aged but likely to be sour claret over lunch is a drop in the ocean of company profits. What strikes me is how trivial and actually time wasting most MP expenses are. These men are running the UK and yet in their over stressed lives they spend hours form filling for the sake of a few K. Meanwhile is the tower of red boxes being neglected?

Likewise all those sleep deprived suits exec jetting it across the globe often to do little more than nod ritually along to powerpoint aren't about to jam themselves into a club class seat and literally rub shoulders with the ordinaries (as Bill Gates did) in the name of pious parsimoniousness. Indeed various consultancy houses regard elite travel arrangements as an essential part of their schtick. That these folks live in a bubble and spend little time talking to folk a couple of layers down the food chain in their vast organizations who often are the only people with a clue about how their business could be improved is more shocking.

I personally see little wrong with a sensibly lax approach to expenses. In business success isn't often based on cheese pairing, that's more often a symptom of corporate failure and penny wise bean counters maning their pumps. Advances come as innovation is stumbled into or we sensibly steal an idea from elsewhere. Concentrating on secondary virtues is a distraction.

I'm fully aware that the epic wastefulness of my industry lies not in our regular expensive partying but in other areas. For instance a chain of amendments to a clinical protocol or collecting more patient data than you need caused by a sloppy piece of clinical science or a minor clerical error in a drug submission can amount to a huge dent in our vast profits. We chip away at this always growing mountain of human frailty through our working lives. Knock a day off time to market and the profits will fund buying another mid sized biotech or two.
 
#12
Pah! Given what the nice gentleman's generally boneheaded policies have done to UK PLC I'd not be distracted by any minor tax code shenanigans.

In Ireland there's been a whole series of gently investigated instances of leaders flagrantly gouging the public purse for party, crony or an island buying scale of personal advancement. Now you might argue that pervasive culture of neoliberal ethics avoidance, of which this political culture was a cog, finally played a significant part in the demolition of the Emerald Tiger economy and hardly a soul has been convicted let alone jailed but it's that larger disaster not the habituated trousering of brown envelopes that should be the real focus for public outrage.

In contrast all England's political class can manage is petty fogging expenses diddling and the odd bit of mortgage fraud. I can only conclude Oxbridge seems to produce a far lower standard of cute hoor than Trinity.
Given his links to Ireland you may well get stuck with him at some point.
Do you think Ballentaylor in the County of Tipperary, or Ballylemon in the County of Wexford,would suit him best?
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
I can't say I've witnessed a great deal of such personally enforced restraint amongst the over rewarded.

High rolling corporate folk do often treat expenses as a huge beano and opportunity to show out. After all they know full well blowing a few K on a well aged but likely to be sour claret over lunch is a drop in the ocean of company profits. What strikes me is how trivial and actually time wasting most MP expenses are. These men are running the UK and yet in their over stressed lives they spend hours form filling for the sake of a few K. Meanwhile is the tower of red boxes being neglected?

Likewise all those sleep deprived suits exec jetting it across the globe often to do little more than nod ritually along to powerpoint aren't about to jam themselves into a club class seat and literally rub shoulders with the ordinaries (as Bill Gates did) in the name of pious parsimoniousness. Indeed various consultancy houses regard elite travel arrangements as an essential part of their schtick. That these folks live in a bubble and spend little time talking to folk a couple of layers down the food chain in their vast organizations who often are the only people with a clue about how their business could be improved is more shocking.

I personally see little wrong with a sensibly lax approach to expenses. In business success isn't often based on cheese pairing, that's more often a symptom of corporate failure and penny wise bean counters manning their pumps. Advances come as innovation is stumbled into or we sensibly steal an idea from elsewhere. Concentrating on secondary virtues is a distraction.

I'm fully aware that the epic wastefulness of my industry lies not in our regular expensive partying but in other areas. For instance a chain of amendments to a clinical protocol or collecting more patient data than you need caused by a sloppy piece of clinical science or a minor clerical error in a drug submission can amount to a huge dent in our vast profits. We chip away at this always growing mountain of human frailty through our working lives. Knock a day off time to market and the profits will fund buying another mid sized biotech or two.
My expertise is in retail and I've noticed an interesting thing there. The retail chains that are most successful long term often have only fair to middling pay packages for their senior executives. Those executives seem willing and able to take a long term view, not get into heavily leveraged debt trying to justify their huge pay packages.

Sam Walton - by a large margin the most successful retailer who has ever lived - remained a man unaffected by his vast wealth and who was content to live in the small three bedroomed house he brought when just starting out in retail. And he was perfectly happy to drive an old beaten pick-up truck into work rather than a flashy, top of the range Merc.

There is no need for senior exeutives to be parsimonious with their expenses - but neither should they cane them for every last pound they can extract. A good executive regards themselves as the steward of their companies fortunes and not a man (or woman) with the privilege to continually putting their hand into an unlimited cookie jar.

From my experience the greedy are too concerned with their own interests and too little concerned with interests of the companies that they run. And those too concerned with their own interests have a long history of running companies into the ground because their greed/vanity leads them into making stupid decisions in the hope of getting short term glory.

Greedy executive = company heading into over-leveraged debt and financial difficulties.

Wordsmith
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Parliament - nice work if you can get it.

The very large multinational that fed and watered me in the afterlife (1) allowed only economy air fare unless there were special circumstances and (2) only paid expenses against receipts unless there was a really good excuse that one could sell to one's manager. The latter was assisted by the hierarchy screwing down on one's manager's expense budget year on year.
 
#16
...

If I have the moral integrity to do that, why can't MP's be the same? It's really very simple - you have to understand what is right and what is wrong and behave accordingly.

And if MP's don't know right from wrong, why are they sitting in parliament and passing laws? Moral integrity should be an essential qualification for parliament.

Wordsmith
I'm actually on a contract that has a little more attention to expenses than is usual as the client has got itself a rather large debt at the moment. I'm not actually feeling any more pious just astounded by the stupidity of a plethora small accountant led economies often wiping out real possibilities to maximize profits a few years down the line.

I think MPs are generally behaving much the same if not better than the private sector peers they share a culture with. In the UK most after all are public school chaps (a not notably moral breed reprogrammed to lead) with an eye on the main chance and this has always been so. They are (rightly) held too far higher standards than corporate animals as they are privileged to serve in rather badly payed public office.

Finally in business I don't think it's a matter of morals more of opportunism. And I do generally want opportunists about me, folk you need to keep an eye on that'll seize the day and stress test the rules. I'm actually a little worried by peers who are too ostentatiously careful with the corporate nosebag. Finally the client isn't going to appreciate some plodder saved them $200 by taking public transport when you could have taken that limo, saved two hours and rechecked that flawed slide deck in the time.

Decades ago I once got told off by an old Bronx Jewish boss for entertaining less lavishly than he would. He was right, his expense claims were considered epic by our stingy Dutch mother company but the difference between my pizza and beer compared to his nine couse tasting menu and a little vist to a Geneva flesh pit didn't amount to much compared with the fees pulled in and it was partly by diligent partying he built up a decent consultancy business. Then I may have spent too much time round entrepreneurial Septics and other species of cute hoor.

Now that is how a start up business often is, it's another question if such sleekit folk should really be running a country, perhaps only in wartime.
 
E

exmunkey

Guest
#17
What is depressing about all of this is the lack of moral integrity shown by MP's of all parties.

I travel on business from time to time and my company (a large multinational) has a reasonable scale of expenses. I know what I can spend on air fares, hotels, meals, taxis, etc. I understand those expenses are to enable me to do my job in reasonable comfort while away from home. I don't regard the scale of expenses as a maximum to be claimed each day and every day.

Instead I claim what is necessary to do my job - which doesn't necessarily mean me booking the most expensive flight or having a meal that is the most that I'm allowed to spend daily. In short I use expenses to allow me to do my job with a degree of comfort and without being out of pocket personally.

If I have the moral integrity to do that, why can't MP's be the same? It's really very simple - you have to understand what is right and what is wrong and behave accordingly.

And if MP's don't know right from wrong, why are they sitting in parliament and passing laws? Moral integrity should be an essential qualification for parliament.

Wordsmith
You are right. I can't be bothered with ex's if it's something I would have bought anyway, used to work with a para colleague that used to spend hours claiming for everything he could get away with.

The main problem apart from morality is white collar crime is just not seen as a crime, it's just business
 
#18
The main problem apart from morality is white collar crime is just not seen as a crime, it's just business
Above a certain income level, it's remarkably hard to commit a crime in the UK. Amusing peccadillos aplenty, sure - but crime? That's something poor people do.
 
#19
Above a certain income level, it's remarkably hard to commit a crime in the UK. Amusing peccadillos aplenty, sure - but crime? That's something poor people do.

If you're rich enough in the UK, you can even make the worlds only spontaneous recovery from Alzhiemers!
 
#20
The elites in this country are corrupt to the very core.
 

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