Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In support of Dr Ian Gibson MP

Ian Gibson isn't my MP, but geography means that the politics of Norwich North & South have a lot in common. I've met Ian on a number of occasions and he's a thoroughly decent bloke, and a committed MP.

I really don't think he deserves the same fate as Margaret Moran, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley, his case is different.

Chaytor and Morley claimed for mortgages they had paid off, Moran flipped homes in order to claim for work against her partner's house. In all these cases, expenses were claimed that should not have been.

In the case of Gibson, it is less clear cut. He bought a flat in London for use as a second home, a reasonable expense for an MP whose constituency is 120 miles from Westminster. His daughter also lived there, and when Ian moved closer to Westminster his daughter and boyfriend took over the mortgage, resulting in them getting a house at below the market price.

I don't think what he's done is especially wrong. Had Ian's daughter not lived there, the taxpayer would be no worse off. Consider the situation; you are an MP and you are allowed to have a second home in London, you are given a limit as to what you can claim but have no limit other than that. Is it so wrong to think "I'll get a two bedroom place, so I can have guests over occasionally" how about "My daughter's going to University in London next year, she could say at the flat"? Is putting your second home to good use really such a sin?

What Ian's done is nothing close to what the other suspended MP's have done and ultimately, the taxpayer is no worse off. Anyway, the gist of all this is that I think Ian's been treated unfairly and I'd encourage anyone who agreed to join this Facebook group.

1 comment:

Viola said...

Gibson claimed ALL the expeneses for the flat, utilities and all although it was the home of his daughter and her partner and he only stayed there part time. Also by the cut price sale he evaded capital gains tax (about £80,000 and the daughter evaded stamp duty (about £6,000). Overall he had done the taxpayers for about £150,000. And he claims he doesn't know what he has done wrong!