Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Resignations possible as heat is turned up on Tories

The MPs’ expenses row has deepened after it was revealed that senior Conservatives in the UK have subsidised their lavish country estates at taxpayers’ expense.

Conservative leader David Cameron refused to rule out resignations among MPs embroiled in the expenses scandal as it emerged Tory grandees claimed expenses for the upkeep of swimming pools, clearance of moats and maintenance of a helipad.

The latest figures from the Daily Telegraph disclose that the taxpayer has subsidised lifestyles far beyond those experienced by most Britons.

One claimed successfully towards the cost of a full-time housekeeper with a salary of £14,000 a year and £2,000 for clearing the moat surrounding his house. The latest disclosures will further alarm taxpayers and add to concern over the operation of the House of Commons fees office, which is supposed to police the parliamentary expenses system.

The claims are among the most disturbing yet. Claims that are “excessive or luxurious” are not permitted under the rules. HM Revenue and Customs may wish to investigate some of the claims.

Gordon Brown followed David Cameron yesterday in apologising for the abuse of the system.

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