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Keep the gravy train running

24 November 2009 / David Stopforth
Issue: 4233 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Income Tax
DAVID STOPFORTH continues his exposé of MPs’ expense claims in the early 1980s


  • Minimising the impact of any changes on expense claims.
  • Comparison with the private sector.
  • The expense system had to be defensible.
  • Timing of the announcement in light of the impending Budget.
  • Detailed claims were deemed unnecessary.

The first part of this article Starting the gravy train described the flurry of activity that followed the Revenue’s discovery in the early 1980s of MPs’ expense claims against their additional costs allowance for meals and domestic furniture.

Discussions at the highest levels followed culminating in a decision by the Chancellor in autumn 1983 to exempt the allowance introduce a concession to deal with previous unsettled cases and remove any tax relief for expenses exceeding the allowance.

However as there were still more than four months before the next...

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