Monday, February 22, 2010

Geraldine Smith MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale

As a general election approaches it's important that the spotlight is turned on MPs seeking re-election as well as PPCs. Yesterday I posted about my local MP, Geraldine Smith, and the story of her guzzling champagne in a drinking contest with another champagne socialist MP. Today I reproduce an article about her expenses from the Lancashire Evening Post.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP Geraldine Smith left taxpayers with a dry cleaning bill of more than £700.
The MP's allowance receipts from 2004/5 to 2007/8 reveal she claimed more than £14,000 for food and more than £3,000 for furnishings.

Ms Smith also claimed more than £1,000 to buy newspapers over four years and £424.99 on a Sony camera.

Among the items claimed to furnish her home were a £235 picture, a £249 table lamp, a £185 mirror and £224 on "kitchen equipment" such as pots and pans.

She spent £210 on a table, £173.60 on bed linen and £42 on cups and glasses. £186 was spent on cushions and a further £148 on bedspreads, sheets and pillows.

Her biggest claim came as part of her communications allowance when she claimed for £4,042 for preparing a questionnaire and letter on the Heysham M6 Link, which was delivered to 30,000 homes in her constituency.

One claim from November 2005 was for £650 for meals.
The MP also claimed £728.30 on taxi journeys.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP Geraldine Smith said: "If you look over the four years (furniture) is quite a small percentage. I didn't get a flat in 1997, I lived in hotels for five years."

On her dry cleaning costs, she said: "There are extra additional costs when you are away from home. It was a legitimate expense."

She added she felt the large sum spent on the questionnaire and letter about the M6 Link was justified because she was fighting for a real cause. She added: "The problem with a lot of these expenses is they have been abused by some people.

"But if there is an issue to write to people about...I don't think that is a waste of money."

And according to They Work For You she has never voted on a transparent Parliament. Voted moderately for introducing ID cards. Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws. Voted very strongly for the Iraq war and voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.

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