Thursday, 7 February 2008

A fine fellow is Tom McCabe

Oh yes he is. He got caught up in the Wendy Alexander scandal through no fault of his own and he'll have to declare those donations on his register of interests as a partner in that partnership, but he is a fine, upstanding member of the community.

That's how I know that the entry in his register of interests which reads
I own a flat in Edinburgh with a market value between £150,001 - £200,000 and receive gross income between £0.00 - £5,000 per annum.

couldn't possibly relate to the property he bought using public money as pointed out by -
Douglas Fraser in the Sunday Herald:
Tabloids seized on the story that the parliament minister and Labour chief whip had added to his £83-per-night Edinburgh hotel allowance with a £9500 allowance to pay for his own flat in the capital. And all this just 50 minutes' drive from his home near Motherwell, with a government-funded chauffeur at his beck and call.

Tom Brown in the New Statesman:
Tom McCabe, the minister for parliament (equivalent of the chief whip and leader of the house at Westminster), has scandalised Scots by negotiating himself a £9,500 annual allowance to buy a flat in Edinburgh - although his constituency home is only a 50-minute drive from the Scottish Parliament and he can claim an £83-per-night hotel allowance if unavoidably detained.

Tom Peterkin in the Telegraph:
An exception to normal rules governing expenses has been made for Mr McCabe, who has been criticised for being entitled to a £9,000 allowance towards buying a new house in Edinburgh.
Normally, the allowance should go only to MSPs who live more than a 90-minute drive from Holyrood. However dispensation was granted to Mr McCabe because of his ministerial workload. Mr McCabe was given the allowance on the basis that it would save on travel and hotel bills.
But yesterday it emerged that the cost of him staying overnight in the capital to work was much less than the £9,500 allowance. His bill for travelling from his Hamilton constituency and staying in Edinburgh hotels was £5,605.

And even the Daily Record said he should give the money back:
A HUGE 97 per cent of Record readers think perks scandal MSP Tom McCabe should hand back his pounds 9,500-a-year allowance for a second home

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