Jacqui Smith and Expenses (ACA)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by mad_mac, Feb 19, 2009.

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  1. PTP. please feel free to merge this with the Home Secretary thread currently on lock down for editing.

    I have spent a little bit of time reading through the Green Book for MPs expenses.

    See below for some of the points raised by this authoritive document, which I believe, our Right Honourable may have difficulty convincing an unbiased committee on:

    If this statement is to be taken as a matter of fact, then the Home Secretary clearly has misled members, as the home she spends the most nights at, is in fact her Redditch home.

    “..........normally be the one where you spend more nights than any other.” This is the problem statement, but perhaps the Department of Finance and Administration can provide a clear reference if this is:

    a. During a normal Parliamentary week.
    b. Accumulative throughout the year.

    Judging by the argument raised in the recent controversy surrounding Balls and Cooper, it would seem to be accumulative.

    Looking at the House of Commons 2008-2009 calendar, sitting days for the year total as follows:

    128 days Parliament sitting days if attending ALL sessions.

    Recess Dates as follows:

    Christmas 18 December 2008- 12 January 2009

    Half Term 12 February 2009- 23 February 2009

    Easter 2 April 2009- 20 April 2009

    Whitsun 21 May 2009- 1 June 2009

    Summer 21 July 2009- 12 October 2009

    147 days spent in Parliamentary recess plus days when Parliament is not sitting totals 77 days equating to 214 days she will not be at Westminster.

    30 days are missing as the calendar has omitted Nov 2009.

    Needless to say, I believe this simple calendar calculation dispels any notion of Smiths' idea that she spends the majority of her time in her sisters house.

    See below for the link to the Commons sitting days.

    Parliamentary Calendar Link


    What does seem apparent is whether or not the principles of ACA have been adhered to:

    I highlight point 3.3.1 as her claim IMO is not beyond reproach, and neither does claiming maximum ACA constitute value for money for the taxpayer.

    Either I have misinterpreted 3.3.3 but it states leased accommodation should not be used if it is leased from a partner or family member. I would have thought that a sister would be regarded as a family member.
     
  2. I think this should standalone for a while Mac ;)
     
  3. :D
     
  4. However, as a Secretary of State she has a much greater reason for being in London than purely attending Parliamentary sessions. I think you've done some good research there but don't forget that the Home Secretary has a mountain more responsibilities than your usual rank and file MP.

    And for the record, I think she should be ashamed of the way she's milked the system over these expenses.
     
  5. I agree that her portfolio will increase her workload, but not to the extent that the majority of her time will be spent in London. All but the most important parliamentary debates, (such as exemption from FOI etc :evil: ) are not attended by her, rather this time is spent conducting "in house" business.

    Time spent away from London in Conference and Summits are inadmissible as these are neither spent in the first or second home.

    On the balance of probability, I believe she has misled cabinet.

    The Michael Trend case is a similar one in all aspects.
     
  6. If you take it as cumulative, then the problem is not with Smith but the civil servant who gave her duff info. She was told categorically that with her living arrangements she was in the clear.

    However, with the arguements about how many days a week she is spending in her main house, I cannot see how this can be anything but 'during a normal parliamentary week'.

    In fact I seem to remember this being stated on one channel or another - could be wrong.
     
  7. Duff info, or duff info to a duff (or deceitful) question???
     
  8. Since the bloke has not inferred any deception, I suggest that the latter part of your post is not the actuality.
     
  9. The absolute last ditch desperate measure of any poliician - blame the error on a lowly civil servant.

    She clearly does not live in her sister's spare room, she does not need to incur any costs, she (and her sister) should not have pocketed £116, 000 of our money.

    She has arranged her domestic circumstances to milk the maximum possible from the taxpayer. Legal - maybe, because she helped frame the laws, but absolutely morally reprehensible.
     
  10. Sven

    "3.3.3.

    ACA must not be used to meet the costs of a mortgage or for leasing accommodation from:

    _ yourself;

    _ a close business associate or any organisation or company in which you - or a partner or family member - have an interest; or

    _ a partner or family member."

    So just illiterate?

    Thats ok then.

    What extra guidance would be needed?
     
  11. I'm looking forward to Question Time tonight - lots of squirming and double talk to see.
     
  12. TBB

    You KNOW that Smith leased the house? She hasn't - for instance - been sharing the mortgage?
     
  13. IMHO,Jacqui Smith has been milking the system irregardless as to whether any rules have been breached.

    Jacqui Smith shows a contempt for the taxpayer,the people she will be relying on for continued election to office.

    Had this situation arisen in a private sector company at this time,dismissal would be a likely option.

    The fact that the neighbours reported Jacqui to the Parliamentary standards Commision for not staying at her sister's house as many times as she first stated suggests she has at best been economic with the truth,and possibly misleading the House with her previous statements on this matter.

    It will come as no surprise to me if this whole affair is whitewashed over by any further investigation.
     
  14. In every way except the strict legal definition of the term, she is a thief. No if, but or maybe; she is dishonest.

    Those who support her actions lack judgement, morals or both.

    Go on, then, Labour apologists, point out any Cabinet member whom you regard as a person of integrity.
     
  15. Really? You obviously have evidence to prove this is the case - or are we taking her word for it