MPs' expenses: Joan Ruddock's performance

The Telegraph has got around to having a look at our local MP's expenses, and doesn't seem to have found a huge amount.

The paper reports: 'Joan Ruddock claimed £235 for training on debt advice provided by Shelter, the charity, in May 2008. Confirmed she paid tax on reimbursed accountacy fees .'

This last sentence suggests she is among many MPs who claimed back the cost of their annual accountancy work; controversy has focussed on whether MPs have, as required, paid tax on any reimbursed accountancy fees. According to the Telegraph Ms Ruddock did comply with this rule.

Ms Ruddock is married to Scottish MP Frank Doran. On his expenses, the Telegraph reports: 'Frank Doran names a farmhouse north of Aberdeen as second home and claims around £500 a month in mortgage interest payments. Claims £1,200 for work on his trees .'

It seems reasonable for Ms Ruddock and Mr Doran to make their main home in London and thus the second home claim in Scotland makes sense. The £1,200 payment for work on his trees is perhaps more dubious - is it incurred 'wholly, necessarily and exclusively on parliamentary duties', as the rules require?

But, all in all, these two don't appear to have performed too badly - and given the ongoing political bloodbath, that may considerably improve their career prospects.

14 comments:

Bearded Socialist said...

Ms Ruddock seems to have done very well indeed if the above is true. But the mob mentality is in full swing and if someone gets caught in the headlights they will probably be dragged through the streets, regardless of having done right or wrong

Anonymous said...

Dont you think this has come to light because everybody's got money problems,The MP'S have been doing this for years.

Anonymous said...

No, it's come to light because of the Freedom of Information act

Brockley Kate said...

... and the morons should have known that this shitstorm was on the horizon, because the Scottish Labour party was hit with exactly the same thing a few years ago when the FOI Act came into force in Scotland. Plus the legal case in England has been running since 2005 I think.

Nina said...

If the house was threatened by the trees than the cost of hiring a tree surgeon could reasonably come under expenses. It could feasibly cost around that amount to remove a tree properly and you never know, if they used the wood to heat the house he might have been claiming less for energy costs.

Bearded Socialist said...

does it really matter whether it was justified or not? People want blood and any excuse will do

patrick1971 said...

Ms Ruddock is, I think, poised to do quite well out of Gordon's reshuffle. As a medium-profile MP who's pretty much kept her nose clean, she should be in with a good chance of a fairly senior job.

Anonymous said...

I met a bloke in a pub last week, (L Tavern) who lives opposite her - she complained about his van (white). He went on to tell me how right Enoch Powell was with his predictions and how Guinness affected his bowel movements.

Tamsin said...

Well somebody did refer to a shitstorm earlier in the thread...

Anonymous said...

I think you need to clarify JR has has no second home allowance to use up as she is an inner London MP. She gets the London weighting of ca £2800.

The attention therefore focusses on Frank Doran and his claims.

Brockley Kate said...

Anon, clearly you don't read this blog often or you would have seen the earlier post about JR's expenses claim.

max said...

In today's Guardian Joan Ruddock MP attacks the Greens. Nothing to do with them campaigning in her constituency mind you.

max said...

I forgot the link.

Winston said...

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

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