Friday, May 29, 2009

Cash Answers Questions: Will His Answers Wash?

I have just been listening to Bill Cash on Sky. His defence is that he let his son Sam have his Pimlico flat rent free while he then rented out his daughter's flat for £15k. He says that in 2004 it was permissible to do that as the rules allowed it. The rules changed in 2005. He says the "taxpayer was not disadvantaged". Hmmm. Don't think that's going to stick. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that he claimed money for his daughter's flat because he let his son have his Pimlico flat rent free.

Mr Cash has said that he will pay the money back if it is judged he has transgressed. A week ago, that would have probably been sufficient. I wonder if that's the media and public mood now.

57 comments:

Coulton said...

I reckon the key question here, particularly in view of the fact she's a prospective candidate, is whether his daughter declared the income from her old man to the Inland Revenue. If she did this can be presented as a legitimate transaction. If not, then she is guilty of tax evasion and he won't have a leg to stand on...

Unsworth said...

'Transgressed' what?

'Judged' by whom?

Weasel words from an immoral and undignified clow. He should do the honourable thing and step down immediately.

Any chance of that? How much damage does he want to inflict on the Conservative Party?

Anonymous said...

Let's start talking about the elephant in the room. David Cameron himself.

Why does he think we taxpayers should pay his mortgage interest when he is a very wealthy individual, reported to be worth with his wife £30 million.

Does he think we are stupid? In the same way flippers, remortgagers, extenders, trust funders a la Wintertons, relative renters, club dwellers, etc have sought to maximise their person gain he has done the same.

If he is maintaining any savings that a normal person would have sold to pay for either of his properties, then he is artificially maximising his interest bill by having a larger than necessary mortgage, and is a fiddler on the same level as the others.

Answer the question Dave - "Did you use all your family savings when you bought your house, or did you deliberately chose to get a large mortgage so you could maximise your subsidy from the taxpayer?"

I will not vote Tory until this has been answered.

Colin said...

Ta Ta Bill...

pete_s said...

Having seen Bill Cash perform in the chamber on many occasions, I think he would be a genuine loss to the country. I could understand why Cameron would like to get rid of him, he acts as an independent, not easily cowed. Also he knows his stuff, as well as how the real world works.

Anonymous said...

Well, he's only looking out for his children.

Sauce for the gander and all that...

Plato said...

Unworth - Cash tried to bring down Major over Maasricht.

He doesn't give a toss for the greater good of the Tory Party even when he knows his antics will hand dynamite to Labour.

Cameron must be rubbing his hands at the prospect of another self-destruction of his ilk.

Anonymous said...

This is a worst case than kirkbride,Dave have you got it in you to sack him.Are you all words and no substance.

Colin said...

The danger here is than in true regime style, a number of labour miscreants look to be toughing it out.

Most of the cabinet should have been Morley'd by now.

If Dave and his few remaining chums in the press don't go to war on this soon, the Tories will be in serious trouble. The actions of blears, miliband, brown, darling, hoon etc. etc. are, in my view, on a par with morley, mckay, moran et al. Why haven't they been dragged through the wringer in a similar way?

The BBC has made all the running with regard to dodgy Tories. Dave needs to up the ante ASAP.

Patrick said...

No, Its not good enough.

A good opportunity for Dave to boot this trouble maker out!

Simon Gardner said...

There has never been any evidence that Bill Cash gives a toss how much damage he does to the Conservative party.

Victor, NW Kent said...

How much more of this can we take?

I had a lot of energy when Derek Conway was outed but it is now all used up and I view each new revelation with apathy. Perhaps if even one Cabinet member had to resign one might see some sense in it.

As its is we have Conservative MPs committing seppuku whilst the Cabinet sits tight and smug on their own excesses. On the street corner Clegg seizes the moment to chuffer on about PR and is able to ignore his own crooks.

It does not seem to me that the Tories are coming at all well out of this affair and the LibLab press has seized the airwaves to rub it in.

I am not at all sure that we can ever restore trust in our MPs by any means at all and it may well be that Cameron's chances to become PM are diminishing daily, sunk by twits and blimps.

Anonymous said...

I feel so naive !! I assumed that the 'upper class Tories' were all in the Lords.

I had ass-u-med that the Tory MPs were of the 'started a business and did quite well' tribe. But now one realises that they are ALL landed gentry and stuffed shirts of the 'Jacob Rees Mogg' type.

Why on earth should I vote for them, when they don't understand me or the way I live, and won't even stand up against Europe ?

Okay, Bill Cash did - but then he was in a minority as the other non-bastards signed up to the Single European Acts and Maastrichts of this world without so much as a 'by-your-leave'.

This isn't the 'rebranded Tory party' I thought Cammo constructed, and now that the scales have fallen from my eyes, I'm not sure that I will get fooled again..

Anonymous said...

No. He's a sponger like the rest of them. Morally bankrupt and just trying to wriggle out of standing down. Time for a clear out.

StradeyParker said...

Obviously Mr Cash provided accomodation for a member of his family at taxpayers' expense and should be made to account for his actions.

Anyone can see that this is totally different to the case of Julie Kirkbride who...

um-ah!

Scary Biscuits said...

What I can't understand is why he didn't volunteer this information ages ago. Was he hanging on hoping that nobody would notice?

Anonymous said...

"Serious. Questions. To. Answer"

The guy is toast. Cameron needs to fill his front bench with young thrusting Turks, Asians and black lesbian women if he is to have any chance of convincing the British that he has undergone an Obamaesque 'change you can believe in' conversion.

Ditching feeble old has-beens like Cash, in a way reminiscent of the clear-out of the long knives at R1 when DLT, Simon Bates, Adrian Juste and many other bed-blockers, is just what the doctor ordered..

Anonymous said...

In view of the anger I feel that these utter turd's have been sneakily milking my tax pounds while I can't even afford to buy myself a new set of choppers. Dangling by their goolies/tits from the lampposts that line the embankment will be good enough for starters.

A damned good pasting is so richly deserved.

Game on!

Anonymous said...

Colin - but I think Cammo may be playing a 'long game' here - he knows it would be better for him if the 'toxic assets' remained in the cabinet to poison the remainder of the Labour Party all the way up to the General Election, when he can 'go large' on a poster campaign featuring Geoff 'c*nt' Hoon, James 'Junior Salesman' Purnell, and the dynamic duo of McNumpty and Jacqui Smith...

Osama the Nazarene said...

Coulton, why would this be regarded as a legitimate transaction? Surely the way things appear the tax payer was subsidising Sam Cash's rent free lifestyle.

If Bill Cash already owned his Pimilico flat outright then there was no reason to charge the tax payer one single penny! That is the moral position as opposed to the amoral "within the rules" position.

Agree that the HMRC should run a quick check on Laetitia's tax return back in 2004.

Anonymous said...

Cash ought to explain why his son could not rent out his daughter's flat enabling his obviously well-off family to minimise the taxpayer's bill for his family's arrangements.

This is turning out to be a disaster for the Tories - somehow all their dirty washing is generating the greatest interest and the Cabinet of cheats and flippers are escaping scrutiny. Perhaps Brown's inactivity has turned out (by default) to have been the cleverest ploy.

VotR said...

Cash is doomed. Time to get the metaphorical guillotine out, Mr Cameron, please and do the decent thing.

I'll just get my knitting.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I am becoming more and more shocked by the appalling behaviour that is being unearthed on a daily basis.

I have always thought of Bill Cash as a bit of a berk but an honourable one. Not so sure now and his answers were just not good enough. He has been a thorn in the side of so many leaders that this is a good opportunity for cameron to get rid of him. He pretty much hung him out to dry this morning.

Anonymous 11.58 - dead right on the elephant in the room. Cameron has been very clever at diverting attention away from himself. The allegation is clearly that he has been adjusting his private affairs to maximise his access to parliamentary allowances. That is on top of the Wisteria clearing so I am not sure he has too much moral authority here!

Charley Boy said...

It's hard now not to get the impression that this whole affair was, quite literally, Brown's Nuclear Option. A massive atomic explosion over the political battlefield which severely damages both sides, but the winning (Conservative) side more. Up to these revelations, each new hit against Brown was merely rearranging rubble. This does appear to the layman to damage the Conservatives more, particularly when their tame media poodles (are you listening, Toenails et al?) can ensure the spotlight falls on relatively obscure opposition backbenchers whilst Cabinet Ministers are ignored.

I just hope that Joe Public doesn't fall for this.

Anonymous said...

Is this not akin to my taking a client out to lunch in 2007 and claiming from my employer the cost of the lunch and the bottle of wine that we had, then in 2009 our corporate expense policy changing so that wine could no longer be claimed for, followed by an audit of prior expenses and my being vilified for having previously claimed the bottle of wine on my expenses two years previously and made to repay it?

It was ok in the past, the rules changed, then it wasn't ok so you should repay the cost of the prior claim.

neil craig said...

Shows an interesting sidelight on this whole scandal. Such things have been known for years. The difference is that exact figures have come out without MP's permission & thus we do not feel gratedul that we are permitted a glimpse of what the people behind the curtain are doing.

Charley Boy said...

I should also add to the above that Brown's position in the Labour Party has also been strengthened, given the number of his backbenchers and leadership rivals that are embroiled in this.

He's now safe until next June, regardless of how badly Labour perform next week.

Means Test ACA said...

I ruddy knew it!

Anonymous said...

What's this? If you can't beat the witch hunt join it?

So whilst you act as a defender of poor Julie Kirkbride you immediately jump on the 'hang the Tory' bandwagon for Cash.

It was a 1 year formal agreement approved by the appropriate authority. Would Cash selling his flat in Westminster because it was too small and claiming the stamp duty, mortgage interest for buying a new flat been any better?

Are you that anti-family?

Well if you bothered to look around there are plenty of others who have claimed far more in rent over the years (take Nick Palmer who is number 20 on the 'Labourlist' of all-time top troughers over the last 7 years). His claims amount to £143,854.00 ACA over 7 years (Cash spent £136,886.00 ACA over the same period - putting him behind 110 Labour MPs in the overall claim stakes) and Palmer is whining now because he's had the amount of rent he can claim capped.

But do we know who Palmer is renting from? Could it be a slum landlord? Could it be a Trade Union? Could it be someone associated with the Labour Party?

Have you ever wondered why the Labourgraph are trailing the one or two Conservatives each day before the 10 O'Clock evening news whilst trailing the larger number of Labour MP's at 9 am or thereabouts?

Have you wondered why the smears from the Labourgraph are anti-marriage (Kirkbride), anti-family (Cash), anti-wealth/ toff ( Viggers, Steen, Hogg), anti-prosperity, anti-aspiration, anti-countryside (Fraser)?

This is straight out of Labour's urban class bigotry playbook.

Labour don't need redrag.com anymore they have the Labourgraph Sky and Pravda to do their dirty-work.

Consequently, if you consider this a valid accusation you are just another pathetic muppet of a closet socialist.

Sorry Iain but it's time conservatives grew a backbone and started crushing the nasty bigotry of these low-lifes.

One last question. I hear McBride has disappeared. He isn't sunning himself offshore somewhere is he?

Anonymous said...

Oh and don't assume that the Cash critics on here are members of the public. No doubt they are members of the Labour Troll brigade but then you Iain could well have been got a too after the Watson debacle.

Did you lose your fee for that Daily Mail article. Unfortunately the Labourgraph are dragging you into direpute now as well.

If I was you I'd get rid of the anonymous and name/url feature again until this is over.

No doubt that will drive away the trolls again!

john miller said...

I can't cope with this "pay it all back" business.

If that was accepptable for us, then I wouldn't be upset.

You try telling HMRC that you'll just "pay it all back" then "move on" and see how you get treated.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a tory but don't agree that just because Cameron (or anyone else - some of my labour lot are woth a few bob) is rich that he shouldn't be allowed to claim legitimate expenses. All MPs should have the same rights to get the going rate / expenses necessary to do the job.

Having said that I'm glad HMRC are showing an interest as I know just how nit picking they can be. A couple of times a month I have to work up to six hours unpaid overtime so pick up a take away on my way home (about £12.00). I put it on my expenses and have had to pay tax and national insurance on the last three years following a HMRC audit - some of these MPs are in for a shock

Pete

FloTom said...

It seems to me Cameron is hanging Cash out to dry.

If Kirkbride had "questions to answer" why does Cash "have SERIOUS questions to answer"?

rob's uncle said...

Re: ' . . he then rented out his daughter's flat for £15k . .'

Delete 'out'; 'rent out ' = 'let', the opposite side of the transaction to 'rent'.

Russell said...

What a lot of Anonymice who are all shocked and horrified by the appalling (Tory) behaviour which is being unearthed every day! Are they different Anonymice, do you think, and do any of them work in the Brownbunker?

Surely the real issues are: Is Cameron taking the opportunity to get rid of those he finds inconvenient, like the Euro-sceptic Bill Cash, even if they are experienced, effective MPs? And why is he now giving the impression of dancing to the new down-market Daily Labourgraph's tune?

I thought he made a masterful job of handling this affair at the outset. But now I'm not nearly so sure. And no, I don't know Mr Cash and don't live in his constituency.

trevorsden said...

When Darling announces he will not stand for re-election, then so should Cash.

And judging by your later post Clegg should either shut up or resign as leader of the LibDems.

trevorsden said...

Good try anonymous - but why should we pay Browns exorbitant cleaning bill?

There is no means test for expenses.

No you don't fool us. Get back to Labour HQ.

I am with Victor - there is no point to this. All browns cronies are being left alone by the media. BBC is seeing this as an opportunity for Labour to stay in power and keep its fat licence fee and keep themselves fat on their own expenses grvy train.

Nope all good conservatives should shut up about their own and start complaining about the socialists in hiding.

The conservatives are the only ones with anything to lose in all this. Thats why they are making sure as many as possible tainted sitting MPs are thrown out to make sure the seats remain Tory.

But the corollary is true- we must expose those labour troughers who remain. And we should start singing about labours collusion in keeping them in place.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Jon Cruddas been fingered yet? As MP for Dagenham he doesn't need a second home. His family home appears to be a swish flat in Notting Hill but he bought a small ex-council house in Dagenham and declared this as his main home while claiming for Notting Hill.

Is he getting an easy ride from the media because he is the great hope of the Labour left or because the BNP are strong in his area?

But the BNP's best chance of gaining Dagenham must be if they can fight against the cheat Cruddas.

Cruddas pollutes Parliament and is teh BNP's greatest asset. Resign now.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Jon Cruddas been fingered yet? As MP for Dagenham he doesn't need a second home. His family home appears to be a swish flat in Notting Hill but he bought a small ex-council house in Dagenham and declared this as his main home while claiming for Notting Hill.

Is he getting an easy ride from the media because he is the great hope of the Labour left or because the BNP are strong in his area?

But the BNP's best chance of gaining Dagenham must be if they can fight against the cheat Cruddas.

Cruddas pollutes Parliament and is teh BNP's greatest asset. Resign now.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Jon Cruddas been fingered yet? As MP for Dagenham he doesn't need a second home. His family home appears to be a swish flat in Notting Hill but he bought a small ex-council house in Dagenham and declared this as his main home while claiming for Notting Hill.

Is he getting an easy ride from the media because he is the great hope of the Labour left or because the BNP are strong in his area?

But the BNP's best chance of gaining Dagenham must be if they can fight against the cheat Cruddas.

Cruddas pollutes Parliament and is teh BNP's greatest asset. Resign now.

..Silicon Implant!! said...

OK, now I'm contradicting myself, having just seen Cash on Sky and Michael Brown's commentary on same. That'll teach me to jerk my knee.

Unless there is more to come on this I think that it sounds rather like Cash has played all this with a surprisingly straight bat, given that there was no scrutiny whatsoever and he could have been ripping the arse out of it for decades without being called to account (as many of his colleagues did). He could presumably have continued to live in his tiny flat in London and given the same amount of money to his son to rent his daughter's spare room, and nobody would have been able to criticise the arrangement. The only valid criticism is that it prima-facie look like it must be dodgy and costing the taxpayer money if you don't know the full story, but of course that's more a function of the historic lack of transparency than the facts. Nobody cares about what anything looks like if everybody knows that nobody is looking.

I'm now minded to think that actually this is OK, and that Cash should have no problem convincing the bulk of his local party membership of this provided he takes care in presenting his case and doesn't shoot himself in the foot. His performance on Sky was good. I don't think he has even claimed any taxpayers money that he couldn't justifiably have claimed under a more draconian expenses regime.

Pity, really. I think he's barking mad. However, by the standards of MPs he also appears to have some integrity and therefore shouldn't be slung to the wolves by 'Dave' just because he is an independantly minded PITA (and barking mad).

It's interesting Mr Dale that you wanted to hang an apparently non-troughing Cash from a metaphorical lamp post, and rescue the morally bankrupt Kirkbride from the same fate on the grounds of an alleged witch hunt. I know which of them looks better in soft focus photos, and which would be more of a party management nightmare for 'Call me Dave' from the back benches, but I'm afraid that if Cameron gives Cash the kiss of death without a lot more Telegraph evidence, the entire Tory 'clean-up' exercise will be characterised as 'Dave settling scores and clearing out dead wood' rather than an exercise in clearing out the amoral, the bent and the absurdly greedy.

Means Test ACA said...

"All MPs should have the same rights to get the going rate / expenses necessary to do the job."

I live about 200 yards from work. I walk.
I've got a colleague who lives about 20 miles away.
We get paid the same.

Female members of staff can claim 8 months' maternity leave.

People who lose relatives can claim bereavement leave.

The ACA is a BENEFIT - not a salary top up. If you already have a flat in London, then you de facto don't need another one to do your duties.

Anonymous said...

Why are Sky Isn't News and the EUBC not talking about the Scotch Yoo Kay MP claiming thousands of English Poonds to be able to watch and listen to Scotch TV and Radio in London?, what about the other SNP fella who claimed £80'000+ English Poonds?, why are these cases being deliberately underplayed and ignored?.

Perhaps they received early morning calls from McDowning Street ordering them to hush those cases up!.

Send all Non English elected MP's back to their own Regions and they can watch 'oor own' telly as much as they like then!, turn Westminster back into an English Parliament thus removing a layer (or two or three!) of Politicians and thus saving the English taxpayer millions.

Thank you I'm here all week.

Steve Horgan said...

To the anonymous commentator who wants to talk about David Cameron and threatens not to vote Tory: people have a lot more respect for opinions if the commentator has the moral courage to put their name to them. Otherwise you could be typing your words of wisdom from Labour Party HQ. Given your words you probably are.

Anonymous said...

This is not about systems, rules or legality. It is about individual's judgements. If Mr Cash thinks that this behaviour is OK, then I would not want him as my MP.

No Society said...

The more it goes on the more i side with Iain on the subjectivity of this fiasco which is sadly sidelining real issues in this sorry country - Lisbon, Immigration.Call me Dave is too inconsistent lame of conviction and liberal. He discharges responsibility to a scrutiny committee on one hand, showers implicit praise to the likes of devious Kirkbride on the other and then blatantly media blackballs Eurosceptics such a Will Cash. Digressing from context of post and his "within the rules and spirit etc" defence, Cash is a real dangerous cookie and by default has at last exposed Cameron's position on Europe i.e. shh and it might go away - No Dave it wont and high time you start addressing this issue as a major EXPLICIT party manifesto piece.

dalesman said...

We've heard lots of fine words from DC about what will happen to wrong-doers, now it's time he put the words into action.
Never mind letting these people hang on until the next election, they should go now.

It's time GB and his "star chamber started taking some action too.

John Moss said...

There is no justification for asking MPs to disallow themselves from claiming the second home allowance just because they are already wealthy enough to own or pay for their second homes themselves.

All the condemnatory remarks about Maude, Grayling and others, like Cash, who have other properties stems mostly from a "Class War" attitude. Either the job requires you to work from two places or it doesn't and if it does, then reasonable expenses should be paid to cover the cost of doing that.

I absolutely agree that those expenses need to be reasonable and justified and that those who abuse the system need to be excluded from politics in future, but this harping on about people who "can afford it", is the worst sort of envious politics.

Rexel No 56 said...

Iain

You really should let the Anonymous who posts several times above, masquerading each time as a wavering Tory, that the simplest of textual analysis shows him (or her) to be the same author.

If the truce is going to end, and the parties are to start gunning after each other's alledged misdemeanours, let's at least do it openly.

R56

..Silicon Implant!! said...

Iain, here's an idea... Bill Cash is being very forthcoming at the moment while trying to save his career. I imagine that normally he wouldn't answer questions from the likes of you on the record, let alone people like me. Why don't you make a new 'Questions for Cash' blog post with the purpose of gathering pertinent questions for the man from your readership, collate the (non-offensive) ones into an email, and submit them to him for his urgent attention, then publish his answers here? That way we can perhaps form a sense of how well his answers stand up to cross examination in the court of public opinion (Justice J. Smith presiding)?

Anonymous said...

Dave can't keep picking off the minnows for ever. What about his wisteria and the rest of the shadow cabinet?

Julian said...

He is making the tax payer
provide free accomodation
to his son. Toast.

Unsworth said...

@ Plato

Precisely...

The Big Dollop said...

It seems to me that the UK tax payer was effectively paying the best part of £300 a week in order to pay for his daughters mortgage.

It is strange that soon after her father stopped claiming money for it - Miss Cash then sold her flat for a £48,000 profit.

David said...

Speaking personally I will never forgive Cash (great name for this crisis don't you think?) for the damage he did to the Major Government. He is due no favours. This is just an example of maximising taxpayer benefit for the sake of the family. It is within the rules but stinks. Good riddence.

The Lakelander said...

Goodbye Bill

Anonymous said...

In the circumstances I believe he should be asked to provide proof that he actually lived at the daughters flat. Were all the utilities in his name? Does he have correspondence from his bank and Inland Revenue addressed to him at that address? Do the neighbours remember him living there?