MP’s expenses

Letter to Shropshire Star sent 16th June 2009

Editor,

In my letter to you of the 26th May (published on 1st June) I raised a number of inconsistencies in publicly available and published statements referring to the expenses claimed by Daniel Kawczynski.

His response to your paper published on 8th June makes no attempt to answer any of the points I raised but instead defames me by accusing me of telling lies. My sources are all in the public domain, and as I have already explained to him the key figures came from the House of Commons website and the Conservative Party’s own web site.

I am happy to furnish your paper, or readers with references.

When he telephoned me Daniel Kawczynski said that he would be making public the details of the contract the he had with Stephen Crabb MP. I replied that I thought that any clarification that he could offer would be most welcome.

According to The Telegraph Mr Crabb claimed more than £8,000 to refurbish a flat in London and sold it for a large profit. He then “flipped” his second home expenses from the flat to a house he was buying for his family in Wales and designated a room in another flat, rented by Daniel Kawczynski, as his main home. Unless Daniel Kawczynski is able to show us differently it would seem that the same flat was simultaneously designated by Daniel Kawczynski as his second home and by Stephen Crabb as his main home.

It would now be helpful if he were to answer the points put in my original letter.

Yours Sincerely
Charles West
Parliamentary Candidate: Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats
3 Bellstone,
Shrewsbury
SY1 1HU
tel:   07775 800744

Here then is my letter again, with sources.
Charles West

Letter to Shropshire Star 26th May 2009

Editor,

Daniel Kawczynski has now protested his innocence in your columns twice. He has also appeared on the Telegraph Newspaper’s right to reply  even though no-one has yet, as far as I know, accused him of anything.
He has himself said on different occasions that he rented a flat, that he rented a room , that he stays in hotels, and that he takes a room in his London club.

What we do know is that in the year 2006-7 he claimed £22,060 for his second home . This was £50 short of the maximum amount claimable. The following year he claimed £21,890 . This, as he says in his article in your paper is a modest reduction on the previous year.
He goes on to say that he shared a flat with a fellow MP in the year 2008-9 , but Stephen Crabb a Conservative MP from Pembroke, claims to have rented half Daniel’s flat from October 2007 . a full year earlier.

The general tenor of his article seeks to suggest that our MP makes modest claims for expenses. In fact at £157,000 Our MP spends over £12,000 more than the average for MPs. More than three quarters of MPs spend less than he does . Daniel Kawczynski pays his wife as a part-time office manager on a salary somewhere between £20,000 and £30,000.
The Communications allowance of £10,000 was berated by David Cameron as a "gigantic waste of money".  He said "Allowing Members to spend up to £10,000 a year of public money on self-promotion confers an unfair advantage on incumbents which I find it impossible to justify."  Daniel Kawczynski spends £13,000 on communications.
It may be that all these issues can be explained, but it would be stretching a point to suggest that our MP was particularly  economical. Whether the electorate feel that he gives good value for money is for them to decide.

Charles West
Parliamentary Candidate: Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats
3 Bellstone,
Shrewsbury
SY1 1HU tel:   07775 800744

[i]http://www.shropshirestar.com/2009/05/26/expenses-an-mp-writes/
[ii]http://www.shropshirestar.com/2009/05/13/county-mp-careful-on-costs/
[iii]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5319171/Right-to-reply-Daniel-Kawczynski-MP-for-Shrewsbury-and-Atcham.html
[iv]http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2008/07/17/midland-mp-to-give-up-his-london-flat-in-expenses-row-65233-21364700/
[v] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/HoCallowances0607.pdf
[vi] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/HoCallowances0708.pdf
[vii] http://www.shropshirestar.com/2009/05/26/expenses-an-mp-writes/
[viii]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5318954/Stephen-Crabb-nominates-fellow-MPs-flat-as-main-home-MPs-expenses.html
[ix] http://www.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/finances.cfm
[xi] http://www.conservatives.com/pdf/document-righttoknow3-2008.pdf
[xii] http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/13/david-cameron-mps-communications-allowance
[xiii] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6280453.ece
[xiv]http://www.birminghampost.net/news/politics-news/2009/05/13/cameron-s-pledge-to-scrap-publicity-allowance-for-mps-65233-23617075/

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