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Andrew Smith - 2nd home freebies.

Did I say freebies, sorry actually it was free for him but you lot picked up the bill...
Andrew Smith, Labour MP for Oxford East, used the additional costs allowance (ACA) to claim for a new kitchen and bathroom as well as new windows, flooring, doors and hallway at his designated second home in Kennington, south London.

Although the work could only be carried out at the London home under Commons rules, receipts submitted to the fees office show that many of the purchases were made in Oxford, with the work carried out by Oxford-based builders. The MP claimed a total of £34,181.29 on repairs and renovations to the modest mid-terrace property between 2004 the year he resigned as work and pensions secretary, and 2008.

One claim, in February 2006, was for £2,364.91 and included the cost of a new dishwasher, oven, fridge, microwave, gas hob, and even a 50p carrier bag from Ikea.

Mr Smith bought the house in 1998 with his wife, Valerie, whom he employs with taxpayers’ money as his office manager and caseworker on a part-time basis.
Champagne socialism in action there folks as the wife is also on the state funded gravy train.

He submitted a number of claims for work he said was done at his London home, although his constituency home was given as the delivery or invoice address.

In November 2004 Mr Smith claimed £1,533.38 for “materials for bathroom” under the ACA. Yet the delivery address on the invoice — for items including a lavatory and a washbasin — was his address in Oxford. Several other products claimed were bought from shops in Oxford.
In December 2004 he claimed £5,287 (of which £3,500 was paid by the fees office) for “modernisation to bathroom”. However, he used a company that is based in Oxford and the invoice was addressed to his home in the city.

He also claimed £100.32 for some replacement tiles, which were bought from Topps Tiles in Oxford, and £802.34 for curtains bought at a Debenhams in Oxford.

In June 2007 Mr Smith claimed £128.08 for “adjusting lock after key failed”. Yet the invoice from the locksmith states that the work at the London address consisted of “gaining entry” to the residence after a “lock out”.

Yesterday, Mr Smith said: “I returned to the property at midnight from my office at the Commons. I had my keys. One key would not turn the lock. The locksmith filed a bit off one of the keys and then it worked.”

On Dec 14, 2005, the fees office wrote to Mr Smith asking him to pay back £981.73 as he had been claiming life assurance, which is not allowed under Green Book rules. Mr Smith said the claim was a “genuine mistake”.
We believe him, after all he is a Rt. Hon. MP! 

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