Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Balls And Cooper Let Off The Hook

Brown's favourite cabinet couple, Ed Balls and wife Yvette Cooper have been let off the hook over their use of MPs' homes expenses and can continue to stick with their boss. Any whiff of fiddling expenses would have meant resignations all round, leaving Brown with few friends in the cabinet.

Parliament's sleaze watchdog investigated the married ministers, after it was claimed they had been able to "maximise" their taxpayer-funded second homes allowances, by claiming their London home was their main home.

They faced a complaint from a Tory MP that they may have broken the spirit or the letter of the rules on commons' housing allowance, following a newspaper report accusing the couple of exploiting the rules to buy an expensive home and get their children into a "top state school".

Now parliamentary watchdog, the standards commissioner, John Lyon, said there was no evidence they had broken the rules. But he added MPs should consider changes to allowances for joint claims.

Balls and Cooper, always insisted they acted with the rules over their parliamentary housing allowances and may have been cleared of fiddling expenses but that was a lame excuse. 

This is public money. They are elected and accountable. You don't expect cheap accounting tricks from senior members of the government.

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