I must respond to your article "Burnham's Fury at Expenses Row" in Evening Post 23/10/2012. Mr Burnham had the misfortune of being exposed as being one of 27 MP's claiming expenses for rented accommodation they were living in, whilst owning other property in the capital which they are renting out. Mr Burnham has said that once MP's could no longer claim mortgage interest on property they own, which they use to be able to, he has said that he could no longer afford to live in the property, hence why he has moved out and is now renting his property out. Mr Burnham's very own admission has clearly highlighted why the expenses system had to change. Mr Burnham bought a property and was able to claim mortgage interest on it. This stopped following the expenses scandal and as a result Mr Burnham, on the MP salary he receives says he can no longer afford to live there. Therefore, the old system clearly allowed MP's to purchase expensive properties which they normally could not afford but for the fact that the interest repayments were paid for by the taxpayer. This is ethically wrong and some would say as they did, it allowed MP's like Mr Burnham to build up a property portfolio at taxpayers expense. Modest facilities should be provided by the taxpayer for all MP's needing temporary accommodation whilst undertaking parliamentary duties in the capital, avoiding the taxpayer having to fund MP's ongoing costs in relation to any "dubious" private arrangements they make.
Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader, Community Action Party, 92 Wyndham Avenue, Clifton, M27 6PY Tel No - 0161 7948483