Michele came with me to meet Mr Fletcher in the Fees' Office. he was friendly and helpful and advised that we should register London as our main residence (which it is anyway), because that'll work to our advantage with the mileage allowance...My salary is going to be just £30,854 which is a nightmare. Michele is not amused. 'You didn't think about the money did you? You were so desperate to find yourself a seat you rushed in regardless.'OK, the system has changed a lot since 1992, but the culture of the Fees Office has not. It was they who advised Labour MP Ben Chapman on his mortgage arrangements. Apparently they have privately apologised to him. Meanwhile, he's been forced out of politics. Yes, politicians are ultimately responsible for their own actions, but let's not lose sight of the fact that the Fees Office system of audit and advice is not fit for purpose.
Friday, May 22, 2009
The Flaws of the Fees Office
There has been much comment about the role of the House of Fees Office in the last few weeks. It has been alleged that they have helped MPs take full advantage of the system, along with the party whips. This would seem to be borne out by this entry from 7 May 1992 from the excellent Gyles Brandreth's diaries...