Chancellor George Osborne has come under fire for using his taxpayer funded MPs’ expenses allowance to help pay for a paddock alongside his farmhouse near Macclesfield.
Osborne bought Harrop Fold Farm, near Macclesfield for £455,000 in 2000, and was claiming up to £1,900 per month in interest payments on the mortgage from his Commons allowances. He was then able to sell the property for £900,000 this year according to Channel 4’s Dispatches, making a profit of £445,000.
After the MPs’ Expenses scandal of 2009/10, taxpayer-funded home loans were banned under the new system that was brought in to restore public trust. MPs were then given two years to stop claiming such allowances, but those who continued to claim the privilege after the 2010 election have to pay a portion of the profits on any such loan back to the Parliamentary authorities.
Osborne stopped claiming for this expense in 2010, and therefore is not forced to pay back a portion of the £445,000 profits back to the public purse. But at a time when MPs are forcing continued austerity on the British public, continuing to squeeze benefits, and publicly shaming corporations into paying their “fair share” no matter the legality of their tax efficiencies, this profit does not help Osborne’s claims that “we’re all in this together”
Upon hearing of these claims, Labour MP John Mann said it showed Mr Osborne was “unfit to govern”, continuing:
“People across the country have been forced to bear the brunt of his economic failures and brutal cuts. They will be disgusted by George Osborne’s greed.”