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Forest Hill MP Jim Dowd's Expenses
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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #1
20-06-2009 07:07 AM

This weeks South London Press reports Lewisham West MP Jim Dowd has claimed the maximum petty cash for each year since 2004.

MPs used to have a monthly ?250 petty allowance under which claims could be made without having to provide receipts.

Mr. Dowd is said to have been the only South London MP to have claimed the maximum petty cash, totalling ?12k over four years.

The local MP told the South London Press, "It's more complicated to attach every receipt for cleaning, stationary, stationary, office bits and pieces and so on, so I used the petty cash allowance."

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #2
20-06-2009 09:05 AM

Have just looked at the 2007/2008 expenses and ?16,500 was paid to the Lewisham Labour Party for his part or shared use of a building as his Constituency Office.

Quote:
The sum includes agreed office running costs, use of some office equipment and secretarial support with Constituency Advice Surgeries.


His communication costs are interesting, Jim's Stationary & Postage costs were almost half those of the other two Lewisham MP's.

His mobile phone bill normally about ?35 a month shot up to ?132.25 in June and ?132.67 in November, I guess he was abroad at those times.

Not sure why taxpayers were asked to pay ?275 to complete his tax return, wouldn't that be a personal matter unconnected with being a MP?

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
20-06-2009 09:06 AM

Sorry, the point is what exactly? It sounds both permissable and average to me and certainly less than some of the outrageous demands which others of all parties have made.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #4
20-06-2009 11:12 AM

It's permitted to claim for a floating duck house but is it right?

In this case an MP doesn't produce receipts and every month manages to claim the maximum allowed, in addition to other expenses.

It shows he is value for money when it comes to stationary & postage or no one writes to him?

It proves personal tax in this country is so complicated MP's need an accountant to complete their tax returns and demand the fees are paid for by taxpayers.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
20-06-2009 02:45 PM

Sorry, I still think there is nothing here to be concerned about and that this is a non story. The sums involved are really small. Whether someone should be claiming a general fixed amount instead of producing receipts is a moot point-I had a job once with a housebuilder that preferred a fixed amount every month rather than have to get finance staff to vet every invoice and receipt as this itself took up resources and was costly to do. It was assessed on what was reasonable at the time and we were expected to spend around that level on travel and taking clients out to lunch. If we overspent we did not get the money back.

I then went to work for another organisation which quibbled about ?1 spent making a personal call on the company mobile phone. The dialogue went on for weeks - they demanded a cheque for ?1 which would have cost me more than that to write. I insisted on giving them the cash. Letters were sent by HR to my home outlining why there was a policy against accepting cash from staff. All of which cost them more than ?1. Can you see my point? Sometimes you just have to let people get on with reasonable expenditure as otherwise you will be nit picking everything.

The point about whether it is reasonable to charge the taxpayer for accountancy fees is another matter but I would assume that they were all doing that and therefore its not something exclusive to Jim Dowd. Personally I think ?275 is rather a good deal- cheaper than what I usually pay!

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #6
20-06-2009 04:51 PM

No second home expenses for Jim Dowd, unlike say Jacqui Lait all the way over in remotest Beckenham, or Bob Neill all the way over in the countryside village of Bromley, both conservative by the way.

How on earth could they get home if there was a late sitting at parliament?
(Other than cycling, night bus or cab. Agreed it would be a long walk.)

expenses

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Dan on the Hill


Posts: 36
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #7
22-06-2009 10:34 AM

Quote:
No second home expenses for Jim Dowd


Well you say that, but its only because he is not allowed since he is a London MP and within the ?no second home catchment?. However and here is the catch. His Partner Janet Anderson MP claims the full second home allowance and yet lives with Jim Dowd.

Together they are troughing the system, to get tens of thousands of pounds of expenses they should not. Its theft, plain and simple.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #8
22-06-2009 01:16 PM

Interesting Dan.
OK, I agree, string him up as well.

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ben


Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #9
22-06-2009 01:53 PM

Unfortunately from the telegraph "...Janet Anderson, MP for Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire, submitted a claim for ?11,996, equating to 41,984 miles. It is the equivalent of 91 round trips to her constituency, or five round trips for each week that parliament sat.

In addition, Mrs Anderson claimed ?2,987 in rail fares - enough for at least 11 round trips to her constituency - and ?2,693 in air fares, together with another ?715 in "miscellaneous" travel expenses.

As well as having the biggest mileage claim of any MP, Mrs Anderson claimed ?23,039 for her second home, even though she lives with her partner, Labour MP Jim Dowd, at his constituency home in Lewisham during the week. Mr Dowd, meanwhile, claimed a London Supplement of ?2,812 on the couple's home in the capital.

Mrs Anderson claimed a total of ?173,556 in expenses and allowances in 2007-8, the seventh highest claim of any MP. It is a huge increase from the ?155,610 she claimed in the previous year..."

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
22-06-2009 03:12 PM

I havent' the faintest clue about Janet Anderson and her business but I would have thought there were different issues where unmarried MP couples have part time domestic house share arrangements.
So which is her second home exactly? Lewisham or Lancashire? I believe MP's are entitled to claim for a home in their constituencies. are they not? Are you saying there is evidence she is claiming for Westwood Park as well and they are both claiming different things for that property?

Ultimately Ms Anderson's affairs are not really the concern of se23.com are they? Shes a Lancashire lass! It just all looks like a muck raking exercise against Jim Dowd to be honest with not a lot of muck around as far as I can see especially from what is written here. The whole expenses affair has been a dreadful revelation but personally I am sick and tired of the whole usbject and wish everyone would get back to talking real politics and the economy, not nit picking over what really are small sums in the scale of things.

Unless they have the support of the Telegraph's solicitors I do think people need to be careful and very sure of their ground about overtly accusing people of theft on this website and elsewhere; they are public servants but not necessarily public property. Its one thing to point out issues of concern, quite another when you are calling people thieves.

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Dan on the Hill


Posts: 36
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #11
22-06-2009 03:24 PM

Roz, thank you for your attempts to intimidate me. Sadly for you I would enjoy nothing more than a couple of MP?s with extremely dodgy expenses going to court over an internet comment. Jim Dowd or Janet Anderson are free to instruct their lawyers to begin proceedings against me at any time, If they would like to get in contact I would be happy to provide details to which their lawyers can issue proceedings.

Roz I must say I found your apology predictable. I have to wonder if you think it was different when Juile Kirkbride was living with her husband and claiming second home allowance on it. Or maybe that was totally inexcusable because she was a Tory? Maybe I am wrong, maybe you would like to argue the case for her and her husband too?

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ben


Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #12
22-06-2009 03:34 PM

I not really that bothered about what he has claimed and would of course rather talk about his politics, the fact that he voted in favour of foundation hospitals, in favour of university fees top-up fees, in favour of the Iraq war (but against an investigation into the Iraq war being held) and in favour of the introduction of national ID cards.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
22-06-2009 03:55 PM

The fact is Dan, you haven't presented the facts to support your argument. You have accused Jim Dowd of theft using rather woolly accusative statements without providing corrobative evidence. If you would like to present clear and undisputable facts now I would be delighted to read and digest.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #14
23-06-2009 08:00 AM

I don't know about Jim Dowd's domestic arrangements but the News Shopper has put together a list of MP's expenses.

Jim Dowd as with the other Lewisham MP's cannot claim the 2nd home allowance and reportedly claimed a total of ?131,165, the other two each claimed over ?130,000.

In comparison Greenwich & Woolwich MP Nick Raynsford only claimed ?117,562.

Interestingly Jacqui Lait the MP for Beckenham who has a second home allowance claimed less than Jim Dowd ?128,892.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #15
23-06-2009 08:09 AM

One thing I cannot understand is that MP's with grace and favour residents ( PM , Chancellor , Chief Whip etc ) seem to be able to claim for a constituency home ( no problem ) plus another London Residence.
Surely one London residence is enough for anyone and in most cases would imagine rented out.
If I have my facts wrong then I apologise.
I think Mr Dowd has been quite frugal compared with most . His neighbour in Beckenham and Ponge , Mrs Milk is quite another matter.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #16
23-06-2009 08:48 AM

The Telegraph reported the following in March....

Quote:
Mrs Anderson claimed ?23,039 for her second home, even though she lives with her partner, Labour MP Jim Dowd, at his constituency home in Lewisham during the week. Mr Dowd, meanwhile, claimed a London Supplement of ?2,812 on the couple's home in the capital.

Mrs Anderson claimed a total of ?173,556 in expenses and allowances in 2007-8, the seventh highest claim of any MP. It is a huge increase from the ?155,610 she claimed in the previous year.


I'm at a lost at what Jim spends ?250 of petty cash on a month, his partner might provide some clues, but tea & biscuits costing ?250 a month?

Quote:
The MP for Rossendale and Darwen has claimed double the permitted ?250 a month expense on 25 occasions since April 2004, her documents show.

Last night she said she had thought that she was allowed to claim the sum - which she used for tea, coffee and newspapers - for both her Westminster and constituency offices every month.

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davhel52


Posts: 54
Joined: Jun 2009
Post: #17
23-06-2009 10:25 AM

Are you by any chance a Lib/Dem.If so I forgive you.Many of the Lib/Dems in Forest Hill
are Blinkered souls who sadly are not going anywhere constructive where
central government are concerned.As for the Local Bunch (Apart from John
Russell) They seem to spend all their time winding up the people of Lewisham and coercing them into ill advised activities purely because they wish to bring about the downfall of a perfectly good Mayor,the local Labour councillors and an MP who when compared to many MPs is a virtual Saint.
One of these Crass councillors is standing as MP in the next election (I believe).Thank god- I say- that means we wont have to put up with him in the Council Chamber again and his chances of becoming MP are slim to say the least.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #18
23-06-2009 11:00 AM

Brian, Jim's expenses maybe frugal due to his partners claims for food of about ?350 a month and very few invoices.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
23-06-2009 11:52 AM

I understand from her website that Ms Anderson has two constituency offices due to its geographical size. Perhaps this makes a difference? I still don't see where Jim has benefited any more than any other MP to be honest. The sums quoted are very nice if you can get it but MPs do have to run constituency offices and employ staff- none of which comes cheap even in a recession. I feel all of this is a non story going nowhere in particular...

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davhel52


Posts: 54
Joined: Jun 2009
Post: #20
23-06-2009 12:34 PM

I agree Roz Jims expenses are all above board.I for one respect him hugely
and what concerns him and Janet are his and hers Business alone.Long may he reign.

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