I have just been checking out Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharmaâ€™s expenses. You can see them here.
He is relatively OK in as much as he has not claimed any Additional Costs Allowance, the so-called second homes allowance. He does though have some questions to answer I think. He has made claims under the Incidental Expenses Provision, ie office costs, and the Communications Allowance, otherwise known as the incumbents protection scheme.
He was elected on 19th July 2007. Before the end of the year he had worked out that he was â€œentitledâ€ to claim Â£250 a month for petty cash without supplying any receipts. Yippee! He claimed Â£1,500 for his first six months on 11th December and after that he claimed for Â£500 on 23rd February and Â£250 in 31st March. I guess this time next year we will find he kept claiming Â£250 per month until he got caught. Some one should of read more on the review of Quickbooks Self-Employed, never hurts to learn more .
Sharmaâ€™s predecessor was an ex-president of the Indian Workers Association (IWA), a trade union, and it appears that Sharma has paid his dues, literally, by paying IWA Â£800 per month rent for the use of their premises between September and November 2007. Shame he couldn’t use his own money rather than ours.
At the end of March 2008 Sharma seems to have claimed for two fridges. For his office I guess, but two? Both were quite cheap Â£130 and Â£119.95. Maybe one broke and had to be replaced. Maybe they have lots of lunchtime sarnies to keep cold.
Sharma charges for a mobile. It is quite sweet how small some of the bills are. At Â£20 a month you have to wonder how much work he is doing. Maybe he waits for people to call him to save taxpayersâ€™ money?
Finally, there is one bill â€œFor supply and fitting of office furniture comprising of computer tables, filing racks, bookshelves, etcâ€ for Â£1,480. But, he also claimed for 3 â€œcomputer tablesâ€ and 3 filing cabinets for a total of Â£1,050. Interestingly the rather scrappy hand-written invoice for the fitted stuff came from an outfit called Rayit whose invoice was decorated with an illustration of a fitted bedroom. Was this invoice really for office furniture or something else?
I think I need to make a trip to Sharmaâ€™s office to see my two fridges, three computer tables, fitted bookshelves, etc in place. Maybe he’ll make me a cup of tea with all those tea bags he buys out of petty cash.