Monday, 31 May 2010

Oh Danny Boy

Nick Clegg really needs to take some urgent action to sort out his MPs. The new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has been found to have done a 'Hazel Blears' - avoiding paying capital gains tax when he sold his taxpayer-funded second home at a profit.

There is no suggestion that Mr Alexander has broken any tax laws but he has used a loophole in the tax system for personal financial gain.

In the first televised leaders' debate Mr Clegg said: "There are MPs who flipped one property to the next, buying property, paid by you the taxpayer, and then they would do the properties up, paid for by you and pocket the difference in personal profit."

I don't expect he was aware one of his bright young things had done exactly that.

Time for the libdems to get their own house in order before they start legislating for a reduction in our standards of living.


Andrew_S said...

I wonder if, way back in 1971 when Pete Townsend wrote the line "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" for the classic "Won't Get Fooled Again" he knew just how true his words would come to be.

Sadly, it seems that we may well have been fooled again.

subrosa said...

What I don't understand is why Nick Clegg didn't sort them out at the time of the expenses exposures Andrew. Yet he stood up often enough in the Commons and said his bunch were whiter than white.

Witterings From Witney said...

Ahem, something in this SR?

Much as I wish to see MPs that have broken the rules and spirit of the rules held to account.........

It seems to me that until we stop all subsidies other than mortgage interest on properties, we are always going to have a problem. Likewise any 'profit' should be returned to the taxpayer.

Likewise rent and both need a written undertaking that no family/lover element exists before it is granted. Then, when an MP has been found to be lying - prosecution.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...


I see the Torys over at the Torydiary
are already talking about how they should 'tough it out'.

and not a month gone by yet what will happen when things start to get really hot for them?

subrosa said...

Morning Niko. I'll go and have a look.

No idea Niko, I think they've been left something red hot anyway with the state of the country.

Mrs Rigby said...

He didn't do anything wrong, and it isn't a 'loophole', it's a fair ruling to exempt people's homes from CGT. It applies to people who move house and also to those selling property of deceased relatives.

We had to move because of work and, because of a slow market, ended up with two homes (the second was rented). We were allowed to declare the house we were selling as 'our home' because it was, and had been the permanent family home. It was on the market, empty. The arrangement is reasonable and fair. Danny Alexander didn't break any rules wrt selling property and, if you think about it, he actually needs two places to live, he could hardly commute from his constituency every day.

The Telegraph admits in the article that it has its own agenda.

"The Daily Telegraph is running a campaign calling on the Government to protect the savings of small investors and ordinary second-home owners from any rise in CGT."

subrosa said...

Mrs R, I didn't say he did anything wrong or illegal. He doesn't actually need two places to 'live'. No MP does. They need a place to stay when away from their homes on business. It should not be referred to as another home.

I agree the Telegraph has its own agenda. My point in the post is that Nick Clegg insisted nobody in the libdems had gained from flipping etc. Danny Alexander gained a handsome wee profit from the sale of his 'home' I'm sure.

Of course he can't commute every day. That would be foolish. For years I had to travel regularly to work in another part of England. My employers paid me a basic subsistence allowance the expenditure of which had to be proven by producing receipts.

Why should the public pay MPs rents/mortgages and MPs pocket profits? Seems very unbalanced to me. Also I object as a taxpayer, to paying for accountants etc for MPs. They should be personal expenses not business ones.

Antisthenes said...

The time has come to draw a line under the expense scandal. A lot of people have been very naught boys and girls some have been harshly punished many have not and are sitting still in parliament today, some even in the government. The exposure is now doing more harm than good as in the case of Laws. The only ones to be benefiting from this are the unscrupulous media who are in many ways are as corrupt as any politician.

subrosa said...

I'm hoping the new system, which I think is far more generous that the Scottish MSPs, shows MPs have given up trying to get money for nothing Antisthenes.

Why did the Telegraph leave this til now? It was a well known fact so they say.

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