The MPs expenses debacle is a story that keeps on giving and one quote on the BBC website
really leapt out at me today.
Detailing the alleged £304.10 claim for the upkeep of his swimming pool, Conservative MP Stewart Jackson said: "The pool came with the house and I needed to know how to run it. Once I was shown that one time, there were no more claims. I take care of the pool myself. I believe this represents 'value for money' for the taxpayer."
I can’t help but feel Jackson's statement fuels some public anger, despite his assurance he will repay the money.
"Value for money" is a phrase often used by buyers, particularly those in the public sector. It can have great depth of meaning when large and quantifiable savings are made without compromising a level of service.
But when the phrase is used to justify a claim for an MP's swimming pool maintenance bill, its meaning is completely drowned.
What represents real value for money?