Joan Ruddock's expenses: Applying a fine-toothed comb

Having covered the 'big picture' non-story that is Joan Ruddock MP's expenses, BC thought we'd be thorough by having a quick look through the detail which has recently been released on the Parliamentary website.

Her communications allowance was mostly used for the obvious stuff - printer paper and ink, stamps, and so forth. A £140 camera and £540 on computer equipment from Dell are the most exciting items spotted.

Under the incidental expenses provision, payments are many and varied...
Catering. Someone called Stewart. The Laban Centre. Stationery, IT equipment and banners (which should perhaps have been accounted for under the communications allowance). Vodafone and BT. Office cleaning, insurance and electricity bills. Fair trade tea, a kettle and a fan heater. A fire extinguisher. Volunteers' travel costs, and someone on work experience. Payments to the Telegraph Hill Centre and St Andrews Centre for surgeries, and hire of somewhere called 'Albany Pineapple'. Purchase of a content management system and training for staff. Website hosting. £740 for an accountant. £275 petty cash over 11 months. £385 to Trinity Mirror for adverts in a number of publications (they seem to be job adverts). £200 to Lewisham Deptford Labour Party to cover a shortfall in consitutency office running costs. Oh, and £65 to Premier Shredding Ltd for the collection & destruction of 15 boxes' worth of materials ...

As an aside, BC notes that Ms Ruddock does indeed insist on being called 'Ms', to the extent that she amends forms which have 'Mrs' printed on them.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fair trade tea?

There should be no luxuries...

Anonymous said...

Notice the already heavily subsidised prices at the Houses of Parliament cafeteria... less than two quid for a hot meal. And we still have to pay them back.

Anonymous said...

How thoroughly dull!!

The most ridiculously expensive claim I've heard of at work was a £800 half-drunk bottle of wine (which a Russian oil client ordered). The boss was wondering why the sommelier at the Ritz asked him if he wanted to take the rest home – well that is until he got the bill.

Now that – in my book - is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

And what about £140 to Abbey Tax Protection - Tax Investigations Insurance would not seem to be a valid parliamentary expense.

http://www.abbeytax.co.uk/

Brockley_Badger said...

You can say what you like about ol' Lionel - but you cannot deny he is someone with an E-shaped keyhole on the side of his face who has seen fit to fashion a tool, in order to unlock his mouth, entirely from mung-beans. Claiming the shredding of his expenses back, under expenses, is brilliant beyond belief.

I almost feel...

Badgered

Pedantbot said...

Kudos to Kate for using 'fine-toothed comb'. (So many people refer to a meticulous inspection being performed with a 'fine tooth-comb'. As if you comb your teeth. Aaargh.)

Anyway....

Anonymous said...

Very illbred of the Rissian client mentioned above.

Actually, I'd be much more interested to understand fully how MPs' office allowances are spent. That is where the serious money is spent. All of this is very small potatoes.

oryx said...

Whatever one thinks of Ms Ruddock's expenses I don't see the relevance of comments about her choice of title.

Surely it is upto her if she chooses not to be defined by her marital status.

Anonymous said...

Is it known when the 'shredder' was bought?

Jim Dowd bought one in May/June 2007 and about the same time Bridget Prentice shipped off a load of paper to be shredded.

Just found one local MP under threat of legal action for late payment of a bill...oooh exciting.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
silburnl said...

@Anonymous:
"Actually, I'd be much more interested to understand fully how MPs' office allowances are spent."

Wages and associated employment expenses mostly. An MP will generally have about half a dozen people working for them.

"All of this is very small potatoes."

Meanwhile Fred the Shred has been compelled to take one for the team and the whole 'swag for incompetent plutocrats' furore has evaporated. Fortunate coincidence or a well executed communications plan?

Regards
Luke

Anonymous said...

soundcloud.com/winston-smith-14/joan-ruddock-mp-commander

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