MPs’ gravy train is an insult to slump victims

Chris Carter MANY Redbridge residents will be sitting at their breakfast table today, searching the jobs section having been made redundant. The gloom which will descend upon them as they search in vain will turn to anger when they are reminded of the gravy train our

Chris Carter

MANY Redbridge residents will be sitting at their breakfast table today, searching the jobs section having been made redundant.

The gloom which will descend upon them as they search in vain will turn to anger when they are reminded of the gravy train our MPs are on, with Home Secretary Jacqui Smith the latest to be caught out.

The issue of MPs' "expenses" has been rumbling for some time.


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As always, MPs insist they are not doing anything wrong, but they now add the rider they would welcome a review - obviously after they have made the most of the system before it is changed.

Redbridge's MPs have differing attitudes. Ilford North MP Lee Scott insisted when elected he wouldn't claim for a second home.

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His Ilford South colleague Mike Gapes claimed for a second home until last year.

Wanstead and Woodford MP Harry Cohen has been lambasted for claiming more than �300,000 since 1990, a figure which is reported to be the highest. His Chingford and Woodford Green colleague Iain Duncan Smith is middling in what he claims.

Let's be honest though, few people would do any different.

But the so-called John Lewis list of claims MPs can make to furnish their second homes makes for galling reading - �1,000 for a bed; �250 for a coffee table; �750 for a TV and �700 for a wardrobe.

Most now believe this has to end and even the most shame-faced MPs seem to realise they must join the real world and pay their way, like the rest of the population.

The ball is rolling and must continue until the next general election, when people must ask their prospective MPs where they would stand when it comes to "expenses" - and vote accordingly.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email letters@ilfordrecorder.co.uk

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