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Guaranteed Rental Income | Scottish MPs caught up in new expenses row

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Guaranteed Rental IncomeSCOTTISH MPs from all the main parties are embroiled in the latest expenses row after letting out London homes at the same time as claiming public money to rent in the city. Guaranteed Rental Income

Among nearly 30 named yesterday were former Tory defence secretary Liam Fox, the current Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy, Labour MPs Ian Davidson and Iain MacKenzie, the SNP’s Angus Robertson and former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy. Guaranteed Rental Income

They raked in income from properties while receiving up to £20,000 a year in expenses.

Although the practice does not break any rules, it fuel concerns that politicians can still profit from Commons allowances.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s blanket ban on MPs claiming mortgage interest came into effect this summer.

They are now only permitted to receive expenses for renting.

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The move was intended to head off criticism after politicians were shown to have been using public money to build up property portfolios. But it also appears to have created an incentive for many to vacate homes they own – and some have even been renting properties from other MPs.

Greenock MP MacKenzie, who rents a flat from Labour colleague Linda Riordan, said: “When I signed the lease for my London accommodation, I was not aware that I was renting a property owned by a fellow MP.

“When I subsequently found out the property was owned by Linda Riordan, I immediately checked with IPSA who said there was nothing to stop MPs renting out their flats.”

A spokesman for Robertson said: “He has never profited through the allowances system. His claims are entirely in accordance with parliamentary rules and properly declared.”

After the expenses scandal three years ago, Robertson pledged to sell his flat and reimburse the Commons.

But like many MPs, he has found that the property is now worth less than he paid for it.

Fox, Davidson, Murphy and Kennedy did not respond to reports that they are involved in the new expenses row.

On Thursday, Commons Speaker John Bercow was accused of trying to suppress the scandal by warning that revealing the identities of politicians’ landlords would be a “security risk”.

View the original article here

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