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Tory MP claims 9p expenses for travelling down his own street


You really would have thought they'd have learnt by now.

Despite the furore, the resignations and the prison sentences that resulted from the MPs' expenses scandal which erupted in 2009, one Tory MP seems to have not noticed that the public got a little bit annoyed by politicians dipping their hand in the honey jar too often. And, of course, with the current cuts and freezes on public sector pay, everyone was delighted when Parliament announced details last week of a pay increase for MPs from £67,000 to £74,000.

Details have emerged of a string of ludicrous expense claims by Rob Wilson, Conservative MP for Reading East since 2010, with the piece de resistance being a claim on 29 March 2014 for 9p for a 0.2 mile car journey to a constituency engagement in the same street as his own house.

Rob Wilson Expenses

As you can see, it's practically impossible to attempt this trek on foot

Other 'offenders' include 13p for a 0.3 mile trip, two separate 36p claims for 0.8 mile trips, and 52 trips from his constituency office to the train station - often with additional £18 parking fees - a distance of under a mile. Has he never heard of walking? In total, the MP claimed £21,808.03 between April 2014 and March 2015.

The claim details came from the Independent parliamentary Standards Authority having been uncovered by The Metro, who spoke to Wilson to get his side of the story.

He said: "I am a very active local MP and I get out and about to meet my constituents every week. I do use my car to cut down the travelling time so I can visit as many constituents and local organisations in the time available. Many of my journeys are over fairly short distances of a few miles, but with a number of visits each week, over a year the mileage does add up. I can see how small claims might look odd but it is important that all MPs do the job properly and stay connected with local people. I have been able to save the taxpayer several hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past 10 years by commuting into London by train rather than paying for hotels or renting a property."

He went on: "I have never claimed a single penny in accommodation expenses despite late Commons sittings. However, as I do commute most days it does mean I incur parking and mileage expenses instead. Whilst some may wish me to walk or cycle home after arrival at Reading Station late at night, my constituents understand that would not be practical."

Do you buy it? Or is this yet more slippery political talk while they rip off the taxpayer? Let us know below.

[via Metro]



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