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MP expenses officially published on parliament website

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-18

Copies of all expense receipts submitted by British MPs from 2004 and 2008 were published on the parliament website on Thursday in a bid to appease the scandal dogging PM Gordon Brown's government that saw another minister resign on Wednesday.

REUTERS - Details of MPs’ expenses were officially published on Thursday, although with key information like addresses blacked out.

 

The publication came as the scandal over MPs’ allowances claimed another victim with junior finance minister Kitty Ussher resigning after reports that she had avoided capital gains tax on the sale of one of her homes.

 

Copies of every receipt submitted by MPs from 2004 to 2008 can be viewed on parliament’s website.

 

The Daily Telegraph has been printing uncensored information about individuals’ expenses for weeks, disclosing how some MPs claimed for items from duck houses to horse manure and pornographic films.

 

It has forced more than a dozen MPs to announce they would quit parliament while ministers such as former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears resigned after being criticised over their expenses.

 

Ussher—who had previously said she would quit as an MP at the next general election—was the latest to go on Wednesday.

 

She denied she had done anything wrong but said she was resigning to save Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government embarrassment.

 

She was reported to have “flipped” her designated main home to her constituency property to avoid paying capital gains tax, the Telegraph said.

 

“At all times my actions have been in line with HM Revenue and Customs guidance and based on the advice of a reputable firm of accountants,” she said.

 

Ussher was only appointed to her role as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury earlier this month after Brown reshuffled his ministers following disastrous results in European elections and challenges to his leadership.

 

Campaigners say had it not been for the Telegraph, disclosures about many MPs’ behaviour would not have been known, as it is impossible to see on the official list whether MPs had “flipped” their designated main homes.

Date created : 2009-06-18

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