Thursday, November 26, 2009

Earning that reputation III

Another day, another National MP caught with his snout in the trough. This time its Lindsay Tisch, who was using a front company to rent his own home to himself so he could maximise the amount he got in expense, bypassing the rules and allowing him to claim not just the interest, but also the principal of his mortgage as an expense. As a result, he's netted himself a cool $20,000 in taxpayer-subsidized capital gains.

Naturally, Speaker Lockwood Smith is just fine with it. But then, he's been fine with all the other rorts too. He should haul himself before the Privileges Committee for bringing parliament into disrepute...

In the UK, they're changing the rules to ensure that MPs don't get to use the taxpayer to fund their property speculation, by requiring any capital gain in a property paid for with parliamentary expenses to be surrendered to the crown. That seems like a damn good idea to me.