Mike Simpson asks "Why should taxpayers pay for Jeremy Hunt’s second or third home?"

Posted: May 18, 2009 in Jeremy Hunt, Liberal Democrats
Tags: , ,

Speaking at the hustings in Farnham

Mike Simpson has called on the Conservative MP for South West Surrey to explain why he has claimed over £37,000 in his first 3 years as an MP for ‘the cost of staying away from his main home’, rather than commute to London from Farnham. Farnham is just 45 miles from Westminster and trains take less than an hour to Waterloo.

Mike Simpson, the new Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate says “If Mr Hunt think he needs a third home he should tell us how he justifies the expense to the taxpayer”.

The figures published for Jeremy Hunt, for the first 3 years he has been an MP, show that he claimed an average of £12,566 per year despite having a home in Farnham and a ‘half-share of a holiday house in Italy’. He is also reported (by the Spectator Magazine) to own a home in Hammersmith. You can read the Spectator report on Jeremy Hunt’s wealth and property by clicking here.

‘Extraordinary’ expense

Mike Simpson said, “If Mr Hunt does not own a home in Hammersmith it begs the question where does he live? He is now claiming ‘SECOND HOME’ expenses for his home in Farnham! It is extraordinary that the Conservative MP claims thousands of pounds every year for accommodation, when so many of his constituents commute into London. There are plenty of late trains or he could drive the 45 miles back to his home in Farnham. He is a wealthy man and I wonder why he thinks the taxpayer should pick up the tab if he chooses to have a third home somewhere else.”

Mike Simpson would commute to Westminster if elected

Mike Simpson has made a commitment that if he is elected he will commute to London and would not be charging the taxpayer for any second home expenses. “As I am not an MP at present, I can’t afford two homes, let alone three and if elected I can say now that I would not claim a penny for a second home. I just can’t see how Jeremy Hunt justifies at least £37,000 in 3 years for an alternative home paid for by the taxpayer. In addition to this money we have still not been told how much he has claimed for 2008/9. Why is he keeping silent on these matters?”

Other amounts claimed by Jeremy Hunt

Mr Hunt also claimed over £54,000 from the ‘The Incidental Expenses Provision’, which can be used ‘to meet the cost of: accommodation for office or surgery use; equipment and supplies for office or surgery; work commissioned or other services; and certain travel and communications’.

He also claimed £10,668 in 2007/8 from the ‘Communications Allowance’, which includes paying for websites and constituency newsletters.

These expenses exclude the substantial sums claimed for staff to support his work.

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Comments
  1. Patricia Gibson says:

    My understanding is that Jeremy’s third home in Italy is owned jointly with his brother.
    There is no taxpayer involvement in this and I think it is best left out of the argument.

    I have traditionally voted Conservative but not this time. I will not be voting Conservative in the local elections because I was bitterly disappointed at the limp-wristed response of councillors to the CN East Street Development, which makes a mockery of democracy at the local level. CN have played fast and loose with the people of Farnham for six years and still have their foot in the door with a vision that belongs in the sixties. In my opinion, Sainsbury’s should be forced to pay compensation for wasting local planning resources.

    And Jeremy Hunt, as Shadow Minister for Culture, Sport, etc. made a mockery of his role by abandoning The Redgrave Theatre to its fate and allowing the bowling green to be abandoned for no good reason.

    What is your take on East Street.

    Good luck by the way. Seems like I will be voting LibDem for the first time.

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