‘All in it together’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 November 2013

Three weeks ago in the Exmouth Journal Hugo Swire MP was lecturing us that a future price freeze on energy bills would not work and, to keep the lights on, we had to find the money from somewhere.

Last week it was revealed that he had claimed £3,198.61 for heating and electricity for the past year in his second home.

In an attempt to justify his claim, his office stated the claim was allowed under current IPSA rules and that he could claim even more for his second home if he wanted to.

So that makes it OK then!

Hugo Swire was one of 340 MPs who claimed, with his being the eighth highest.

310 MPs did not claim. Only two could not claim as they reside in No 10 and No 11 Downing Street. Most of the 310 earn a lot less than Hugo Swire MP, who has an annual salary of £100K-plus.

It was noticed his office did not justify the fact that £3,198.61 is more than double the national average for annual energy consumption in a private dwelling.

Seems to be if the taxpayer is picking up the tab, the lights are on for a very long time, the heating is on full blast for a very long time in a house that is not occupied all the time.

Some advice for Hugo Swire on perception:

1. It is morally wrong to claim for digital cameras and a computer bag when you are not entitled to do so, resulting in having to give the money back.

2. It is morally wrong to employ your wife on a salary of £35,000 per annum. Nepotism is morally wrong.

3. It is also morally wrong to claim for energy consumed in your second home. With a joint income of £140K-plus of taxpayers’ money you can afford to pay the bill yourself. Do not claim.

Gas and electric bills are soaring this winter and we are told by the Tory-led government to put on a pullover, close the curtains and only heat one room at a time.

We are also informed time and time again that we are “all in this together”. The hypocritical arrogance is quite frankly breathtaking.

Philip Smith

Exmouth


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