Fraud is fraud but only to the public. If you are an M.P. the criminal, corrupt and decadent System allows you to claim that you “made a mistake” and thus avoid prison. Clearly, people, there is a two-tier justice system –but still the fools keep voting for it. It just never ends, does it Expenses Scandal 2009. By any objective measures this regime is riddled with criminals and parasites.
Culture Secretary to be censured for abusing parliamentary expenses system after overclaiming for her mortgage and making £1m profit on sale.
The Culture Secretary abused the Parliamentary expenses system by over-claiming for her mortgage and then failing to fully co-operate with an investigation into her conduct, The Telegraph can disclose.
Maria Miller, the Culture secretary, is set to have to repay up to £5,000 and be censured for her claims – following an official Parliamentary inquiry which is expected to report as soon as this week.
It can also be disclosed that Mrs Miller has recently sold the south London house at the centre of the scandal for a profit of more than £1million.
The Cabinet minister, who has previously been supported by David Cameron, is expected to come under intense pressure to resign when the results of the official inquiry are made public.
The Prime Minister will be loathed to lose the state-school educated female member of his Government but any minister found to have abused the Parliamentary expenses system is likely to be seen as a major electoral liability.
One Conservative source said: “We simply cannot have a member of the Cabinet found to have abused the expenses system in any way this close to vital elections.”
Parliamentary authorities first launched an inquiry into Mrs Miller’s claims more than a year ago following an investigation by The Telegraph.
She was exposed after claiming more than £90,000 over four years for a second home where her parents lived in South London – rather than submitting claims for cottages she rented in her Basingstoke constituency.
The Parliamentary Commissioner is understood to have concluded that the arrangement did not lead to Mrs Miller benefiting financially. However, the Commissioner is unlikely to have been aware of the seven-figure profit made in recent weeks by the minister.
Mr and Mrs Miller sold the large house in Wimbledon for £1.47 million on Valentine’s Day of this year. They originally bought the house for £234,000 – which means the house value increased by £1,236,000.
Between 2005 and 2009, she claimed £90,718, which was only £115 less than the total amount she could have claimed. Although the house only cost £234,000 in 1995, the Millers took out a large mortgage against the house – and claimed the interest on the mortgage from the taxpayer.
In November 2007, they increased the mortgage from £525,000 to £575,000. The rules state that MPs could only increase their mortgages to pay the costs of necessary improvements – and that these should be signed off with the parliamentary authorities.
The Parliamentary inquiry discovered that Mrs Miller over-claimed for her mortgage and so should repay around £5,000 to the expenses watchdog.
The over-payment is understood to have occurred because Mrs Miller did not adjust her claims downward claims for mortgage as interest rates fell during the period under investigation.
The Telegraph also understands that the MPs want Mrs Miller to apologise to Parliament for not co-operating in a “timely manner” with the Commissioner.
MPs who sit on the standards committee are thought to be waiting for more financial information to consider at their next meeting on Tuesday before finalising the penalty to be imposed on Mrs Miller.
The MPs are frustrated that they have had to wait for months for basic financial details about the amount of money she over-claimed.
The Parliamentary report is understood to contain a memorandum which details the various attempts made by investigators seeking Mrs Miller’s mortgage details.
One source said: “If she had just said sorry she would be in a much stronger position. It will be a question of embarrassment and if she showed the best judgment.