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MP to pay back £22,000 profit from London home

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 13, 2013

  • MP Andrew George to pay back £22,000 on London home

Comments (6)

London Editor

Westcountry MP Andrew George has agreed to pay back more than £22,000 worth of profit from his taxpayer-funded home in London, it emerged yesterday.

The move follows the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) watchdog banning the use of Commons expenses to pay mortgage interest in May 2010, in the wake of public fury over "flipping" and other abuses.

However, transitional arrangements were put in place permitting MPs elected before 2010 to keep claiming the money up to last August – as long as they agreed to return any potential capital gain.

Ipsa has today published details of £500,000 worth of repayments due from 70 politicians, including £22,534 of capital gains to be paid back by Mr George, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives.

Dan Rogerson, Lib Dem MP for North Cornwall, and Alison Seabeck, Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View, also claimed interest on their home loans – but their properties were not found to have made a profit so have nothing to return.

MPs' properties were formally valued at the beginning and the end, and they were given until November 30 to return a proportion of any gain.

Mr George has already paid back £12,534, meaning he still owes £10,000 after the property was sold before the end of the transitional period.

Ipsa has agreed a longer repayment schedule with the Cornwall MP, with the outstanding balance expected to be cleared by January 2015.

In total, the 71 MPs claimed £926,159 of taxpayer cash to cover mortgage interest over the 15-month period.

Mr George claimed £20,859, Mrs Seabeck £15,627.22 for a property in her Plymouth constituency and Mr Rogerson £1,250.

Only one MP has so far not reached agreement with Ipsa to repay the cash – Conservative MP Stewart Jackson, who has been asked to hand over £54,000 in relation to a property in his Peterborough constituency.

Paybacks range from a few hundred pounds in some cases to the £81,446 paid by Tory MP for Clwyd West David Jones and the £61,403 returned by DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell – both for properties in London.

In some cases, such as that of Mr Jackson, MPs were asked to repay more than they had received because the value of their property was calculated to have risen by more than the cost of the interest payments.

Some 42 MPs were found to have made no profit on their taxpayer-funded homes during the period and were asked to repay nothing.

Among others not asked for repayments were Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who claimed £9,104 on a home in his Sheffield constituency, and David Miliband, who claimed £5,903 on a property in his former seat of South Shields.

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  • youngcornwall  |  May 13 2013, 7:37PM

    Business as usual just as if nothing has happened, no shame some of these people, these are the qualities needed to be a politician so it seems.

    |   4
  • Doitdreckley  |  May 13 2013, 7:32PM

    They just need to build or buy a block of flats for MPs to live in, owned by the state, where the flat becomes the home of a new MP once another one has left office. No rent, no expenses, no problem.

    |   6
  • nickthompson  |  May 13 2013, 4:18PM

    How jolly damn decent of him, tally ho!

    |   2
  • manicstreet  |  May 13 2013, 3:55PM

    Why isn't he being prosecuted?.

    |   6
  • TWINSCREW  |  May 11 2013, 10:30AM

    Why is he being given all this time to repay this money, surely he is in receipt of it and he is earning interest on it, it is time we got rid of these troughers and made them pay from their own generous salary. In total this is a serious wedge of money these piggies are holding onto when apparently we are strapped for cash.

    |   6
  • josdave  |  May 10 2013, 10:25AM

    It's about time we, who pay their wages, stopped funding these second homes. The Olympic village could, if Parliament only had the guts, have been used as accommodation for MPs when in London on business and they could have paid rent for that. Instead we fund, in many cases, a luxury lifestyle for housing which is supposed to be used as a working environment.

    |   17