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Laws Resigns.

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Big Gay wrote: »
    Yes, that's the point.

    Undeniably, it would have been dishonourable to have done so in order to claim more - which is why the rule was changed.

    To claim the same amount, I don't think so.

    But he did claim more than he was allowed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    no he didn't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Then why resign?

    The laws of expenses say you cannot claim for payments to a partner. He did.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The coalition gov't have only been up for 3 weeks and the media are already at their throats. I strongly believe that the media have too much influence on the punters' vote. The media are acting too much like a watchdog. We have Ofstead for teachers, Ofcom for telecomms companies and Ofwat for our utilities companies. The attitude that I really hate is "whoever is in power is the least popular". We should bring in a proper watchdog company and name it something like 'Ofgov', then the media can shut the f*ck up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He had to resign, but I don't see how it makes the coalition look bad.

    His improprieties were done before the coalition was even formed, so it's not Cameron's or Clegg's fault. They perhaps could have vetted all incoming Cabinet members, even if this did take time to implement.

    I think an Ofgov wouldn't make sense, since it still would be controlled by the government. If it could be set up that it was independent of direct Cabinet control, then perhaps it could work. All of the telecommunications/utilities companies are privately owned, so it's less problematic to regulate. There would be less conflicts of interests involved.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Then why resign?

    The laws of expenses say you cannot claim for payments to a partner. He did.

    Because he got the shit he was hoping to avoid - and extra from people accusinghim of stealing from the tax payer, or fiddling his expenses.

    It's a strange fiddle where you get to claim less than you could if you declared it properly.

    And gain I've never said he didn't break the rules - just that he didn't abuse the system. But you're not going to stop beating the government you didn't want with any stick you can find. To misquote Stewie, "To me, you look like StarGalaxy."
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He was cheating, he was claiming more than he was allowed - he wasn't allowed to claim anything. It's against the rules, he cheated. If he wanted to be better off and live in a different arrangement where he could claim, he should have done that, not just claim anyway. It is abusing the system to cheat becaue it suits you. Boo hoo for him that he wanted to live in a rental agreement with his fella - if that's what he wanted to do he should have paid for it himself.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In order to claim the same benefits as everyone else you have to declare your sexuality?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think he would have started this arrangement had it been against the rules at the time - but when the rules changed he either had to stop living with his partner or stop claiming, and thus out themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Big Gay wrote: »
    In order to claim the same benefits as everyone else you have to declare your sexuality?

    yes, you have to declare if the person you live with is a partner or family.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But the outrage is over the 40K.

    Had he said we're buying this house together, the mortgage is 950 per month, hed have been given the money.

    Because he said it costs 950 per month to live here, and the reason there's another man in the house is because, errrr, he's landlord he got the money too.

    Yes he lied, yes he broke the letter of the rules. No, nobody profited from it - which is hat the rules are there to prevent.

    The media used the 40K to build public outrage, when that money was an equivalence anyway. Laws received the brunt of the public's anger that MPs can claim for a house because they have to live in two places.

    I still haven't seen anything to say he didn't act morally, or cheated the system of money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He did cheat the system out of money, he cheated the system out of the money he claimed for rent that he wasn't allowed to claim. It's completely wrong and completely immoral. If he could have got the same amount of money claiming some other way then he should have done that, but he didn't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I quite disagree. it would be immoral to lie to claim more, it's simply dishonest to lie to claim the same amount.

    I also believe to lie to claim less is morally positive.

    And that difference in the concept of morality drives the difference of opinion, and I doubt anyone is going to change their moral framework, so I've not much more to say.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know I said I hadn't much more to say, but I have to ask, because I really don't get the link between breaking rules and morality.

    This rule was put in place to stop the practice of some members where they signed the house over to their partner, who then charged the full expenses rate as rent.

    I consider this practice to have been immoral - as did those, I presume, who added the rule to stop it.

    Do you consider it to have been immoral to have made money from the state in this way even when it was within the rules?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not fair, that's why it's immoral.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure why you think it's not fair?

    with the housing benefit comparison a married couple can't claim, so if you claim that you aren't a couple you get money you are not entitled to.

    For MPs expenses a couple can claim more than a single person.


    I'll add that he apparently stopped claiming in 2007 after the rules changed in 2006.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    why are you telling me that he stopped claiming in 2007 when the rules changed in 2006? Is it because you think that means he should be put in prison for fraud or similar?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can't claim for rent that you pay to a partner, which is what he did yes? It doesn't make any difference if he would have been entitled to more money had he claimed some other way in some other relationship, that's not what he was doing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Point is that he could have done many things. He could have been upfront about his relationship, he could have bought the house, he could have rented somewhere else... there are a number of things he could have done.

    The one that he chose was a lie. He obtained money under false pretences. Has he told the truth about who he was renting from he would have got nothing. Instead he got over £40k.

    That's not just dishonest, it's also dishonourable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    You can't claim for rent that you pay to a partner, which is what he did yes? It doesn't make any difference if he would have been entitled to more money had he claimed some other way in some other relationship, that's not what he was doing.

    claimed some other way in the same relationship... and to me that makes all the difference - it show the intent, from which I conclude he was acting honourably, even though dishonestly.

    He didn't do what the rule was intended to stop, which was to make a profit out of claiming for housing.

    Had the rent been set at anything other than covering the nmotgage I would say he was acting dishonourably, but as it wasn't the his only intent in the fictional landlord/tenant relationship was to conceal the real one. The guy's a closet Tory, so I dislike him for plenty of reasons, but I don't consider this to be one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Point is that he could have done many things. He could have been upfront about his relationship, he could have bought the house, he could have rented somewhere else... there are a number of things he could have done.

    The one that he chose was a lie. He obtained money under false pretences. Has he told the truth about who he was renting from he would have got nothing. Instead he got over £40k.

    That's not just dishonest, it's also dishonourable.
    no, it's just dishonest. Had he been prepared to tell the truth he would have claimed differently.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Big Gay wrote: »
    Had he been prepared to tell the truth

    Of course, I am inoring the whole "is this a spouse like partner" argument - which has merit - because I don't think there should be the distinction
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pretty sure I agree with big gay.

    And anyway, I know plenty of people who pay 'rent' to their partner as a contribution to the monthly rent / bills / everything, I didn't realise it was so bizarre and that you would be expected to either have a joint mortgage or get a free ride.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was a stupid thing to do and therefore right that he stood down. Having said that, I'm finding it hard to get as worked up about this as I was about some of the claims that were completely within the rules.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    The one that he chose was a lie. He obtained money under false pretences. Has he told the truth about who he was renting from he would have got nothing. Instead he got over £40k.

    Is that right? Just because you're sleeping with someone, it's expected that you should have to contribute nothing to the costs of having you effectively live there half the time? Seems a bit dodgy to me. I don't really see why your relationship with the person you're renting from is massively relevant, really. I can kinda see why it's a bit dodgy to be handing taxpayer money to someone you know, but it's just as likely to happen with some rich mate who owns a few bits of property as it is with someone you're having a relationship with. But we still come back to the argument that government-owned flats would avoid all of this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Seems a bit dodgy to me. I don't really see why your relationship with the person you're renting from is massively relevant, really.

    HoC expenses rules say that you cannot claim for rent paid to a partner.

    Gotta admit that it's a little unusual to be living with someone and yet to have them also acting as your landlord, in an offical capacity. Paying towards to the upkeep of a house that you are sharing is a different issue.
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