Recently the Daily Telegraph (paywall) ran a story about hundreds of MPs having their official credit cards suspended by the expenses watchdog, IPSA.
Among the list of MP’s whose credit cards were suspened was our own Damian Collins MP – a repeat offender – who was rapped fourteen times, according to IPSA’s data. In fact no other MP, accept he and Chloe Smith MP had their credit card suspended more times than Chloe or Damian Collins MP. Another Gold for Damian.
The credit card at the time it was switched off on thirteen occasions, was not switched off as a result of a failure to pay back a sum of money to IPSA, but rather as a result of a failure to reconcile the credit card statement with the expense claims within the required time period.
However, on one occasion highlighted in the chart in magenta above, his credit card was suspended to recover amounts via offsetting. Damian Collins MP is required to make a repayment to IPSA but had missed the deadline to repay. The card was suspended while the amount owing was recovered. The amount owing by Damian to IPSA in Nov 2017 was £1,014.80.
Parliamentary credit cards were introduced in the wake of the 2009 scandal, and can be suspended for failure to provide receipts within 30 days, for incorrect spending or for failing to repay taxpayers’ money owed for ineligible claims.
Sir Alistair Graham, the former standards committee chairman has said: “It shows there is either something fundamentally wrong with the system, or we’ve got a bunch of highly incompetent slovenly MPs who can’t keep to the rules. The rest of the nation would only expect to have to comply in similar circumstances.”
So we ask Damian Collins MP for Folkestone & Hythe why he failed to comply with IPSA’s rules on fourteen occasions. Is it because you are a highly incompetent and slovenly MP, who fails to understand the rules after receiving an Oxford University education and being in the House for nine years? We’ll leave you the residents of the district to consider that.
The Shepwayvox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime