Despite the recent furore over the level of expenses claimed by members of parliament, local Labour MP, Derek Wyatt, shows no signs of contrition, nor does he seem to understand the depth of anger felt by his constituents.
Mr Wyatt has made a virtue out of publishing his latest expenses on his website (http://www.derekwyattmp.co.uk/news_item.aspx?i_PageID=117561), but far from showing that he is whiter than white, the entry demonstrates clearly a complete lack of judgement as to what he should, and should not, be claiming.
During the period 1st April 2009 to 14th May 2009 (about six weeks) Mr Wyatt has claimed a total of £2,820.81 in Second Home Allowance, consisting of mortgage interest (£1452.93), Council Tax (£85.52), House Insurance (£46.74), Gas (£39), Electricity (£27), TV Licence (£142.50), Food (£112.12), Window Cleaning (£40), Cleaning and Ironing (£200) and Repairs (to what he doesn’t reveal - £675).
Local Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Gordon Henderson commented:
‘I am sure that everything Mr Wyatt has claimed is within “the rules” but are some of those claims morally justified? For instance; why should the taxpayer pay for his gas and electricity? Surely if he is heating his second home, he doesn’t need to heat his first home, which he would have to pay for himself anyway.
‘Similarly, why on earth should we have to pay for somebody to clean his windows, or wash and iron his shirts? Why the hell can’t he do that himself like the rest of us?
‘But more importantly, this claim raises again a number of important questions, including: Where exactly is Mr Wyatt’s second home and how long does he spend in that home? Where is his first home and how long does he spend there?
‘Despite a number of requests for information, Mr Wyatt has refused to provide details of his living arrangements. Until he comes clean about where he lives there will be a suspicion in the minds of some people that he has something to hide.
‘If nothing else this continuing abuse of taxpayers’ money shows that like many other MPs, Mr Wyatt has no idea of what is happening to real people in the real world. He just doesn’t get it.’