MPs' expenses and the MoD

25 September 2009
Like most people this morning, I am angered and upset by the latest revelation in the MPs’ expenses saga. According to today’s Daily Telegraph, the mole who leaked information about MPs’ spending was a soldier moonlighting in between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had been processing the claims to earn extra money to buy body armour that was more lightweight and user-friendly than the standard issue kit.   So while heroic men and women such as him were risking their lives going to war – and with unsuitable military equipment – some MPs had been lording it up with claims for duck houses and second homes.   The whole sorry tale not only reignites public fury about the misspending of our hard-earned money, it also exposes the human face of the scandal. Perhaps the main offenders did not think they were really hurting anyone by pushing through the odd iffy claim? I suspect many of them didn’t think at all.   This taxpayers’ cash should have been invested in vital front-line supplies instead of maintaining swimming pools and cleaning moats for privileged individuals.   Even more infuriating is that the whistle-blower may now face a police investigation for bringing this to public attention. Furthermore if soldiers are truly properly equipped – as we keep being told – why would they need to take a second job to earn money to buy better kit?
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