Since May 2010 – to March 31st 2017, Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone & Hythe has cost the public purse £1,144,586 according to IPSA. The average amount he has claimed in expenses during his time in the House of Commons as our MP is, £163,512.
In the financial year 2016/17 according to IPSA, Damian’s single largest expense are his staffing costs. This is true for each financial year since he was first elected in 2010. In 2016/17 staff costs make up 74% or £134,394.
In April & May 2016 Damian spends £5,525 on his website – hosting, design, redesign, and charges the taxpayer for Adobe Creative Cloud – which is for Photoshop and other design tools. Damian does though use a local company, that being Sleeping Giant Media.
A few days after paying £1,200 to Sleeping Giant media, Damian pays £554 for a ticket to fly economy with Lydd Air, to Le Touquet in France. He flys to Le Touquet to meet with Daniel Fasquelle who at the time was a member of the French Parliament – The National Assembly of France.(See video at end of blog)
In the picture is Damian’s wife, former Mayor of Westminster, Sarah Collins, who is a director in Turner Schools, which now runs Folkestone Academy, Martello School, Morehall Primary and will take over the running of the Pent Valley site in 2018. She is also a director in Noble Purpose Ltd, the company Damian tried to claim £6,000 for last year.
Also in attendance was Cllr Martin Salmon and his wife. Cllr Salmon is a member of Folkestone Town Council (FTC) and was Mayor of Folkestone at the time. Cllr Rodica Wheeler (FTC & SDC) and consort and Cllr Ann Berry (FTC & SDC) Now a curious thing is that none of the above Cllrs expenses appear in FTC’s or SDC’s payment data or expenses and allowances data. So how did they get to Le Touquet? A freebie from Lydd Air? Paid for by Daniel Fasquelle, on Damian’s ticket? None of the Cllrs are members of Bosco. It is strange, odd, curious that no payment data is publicly avaliable which shows who paid for their journey to Le Touquet, especial when one of the persons – Cllr Wheeler’s consort is an ordinary member of the public.
Cllr Wheeler & Cllr Salmon —— Cllr Berry & Cllr Wheeler’s consort
The age of austerity is far from over and while the rest of us have to pay our bills, Damian is lucky enough to have them paid for him. Bills such as council tax, parking, electricity, water, mobile phone and rail travel to name a few. Would you like to have these bills paid for you? Well since 2010 – 2017 The taxpayer has coughed up £45,345 for the bills mentioned.
In 2016/17, Shepway District Council instructed bailiffs to collect debts from 2,501 people in Shepway for non-payment of Council Tax. Damian’s was paid for courtesy of the taxpayer, us. Also in 16/17 1,235 three day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis by Shepway Food Bank.
In 2016/17 Damian did not have any expenses refused unlike the £6,000 last year he tried to claim for his wife. However, that said he has claimed 8% more in 2016/17 than in 2015/16, a difference of £14,137. Some people do not even earn that much in Shepway.
Damian is Kent’s third most expensive MP and the 205th most expensive MP in Parliament. We’ll leave you to decide if Damian, MP for Folkestone and Hythe is value for money.
The Shepwayvox Team