The Daily Telegraph have featured me - amongst others -in today's paper. I make no complaint about that. Below is the email they sent me, which contains my reply. As they say in their article, I have published on my website details of my claims since 2006/7.
Thanks for this - replies below ( I am off to a funeral and won't be back until after 5pm, so won't be around for any more questions before your deadline)
Best wishes, George Young
From: Gordon Rayner [mailto:(email address deleted by GY)]
Sent: 21 May 2009 10:59
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Dear Sir George Young,
The Daily Telegraph is investigating the expense claims made by MPs under the Parliamentary additional costs allowance system since the 2004/05 financial year.
We are considering publishing an article in tomorrow’s newspaper (22nd May 2009) which will contain details of your expense claims.
We are aware of the provisions of the statutory instrument passed by Parliament last July and will therefore not be publishing MPs' addresses or any other details which could compromise security.
However, as a matter of legitimate public interest and concern, we intend to publish the following details about your expense claims under the Additional Costs Allowance. We would invite you to respond to the following points.
1. Your ACA claims show that you claim the full rate of council tax on your second home in London, despite being eligible for a discount from your local authority. Why did you not claim the discount, which would have represented better value for the taxpayer? Didn't know about the discount. Claimed what I paid
2. Do you claim a discounted rate of council tax on your other home in Andover? No
3. Before moving to your current address, you lived in Dolphin Square. Did you own the Dolphin Square property? If so, did you pay Capital Gains Tax on the profit from the sale? No - flat was rented.
4. Shortly after moving to Regency Street, you claimed £699 for a washer/dryer and £449 for a dishwasher (both of which were reduced by the fees office). Did you feel, at the time you made these claims, that this represented "value for money" for the taxpayer? These machines were in the flat that I bought. They were replaced like-for-like by items from John Lewis when they were beyond repair. (This claim and all my claims from 06/07 to the current date are on my website)
We would also be interested in establishing what steps you have taken to ensure that there are “no grounds for a suggestion of a misuse of public money” and that “value for money” has been obtained.
Please could we receive your comments by 5pm today so that they can be given due weight in our inquiries and properly reflected in any article we decide to publish. Please could you also inform us if you do not wish to comment.
Many thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you shortly. I can be contacted on (details deleted by GY)
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