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Saturday, May 29, 2010

David Laws is a sneak thief

David Laws is a sneak thief

If you cannot trust an MP with other people's money, then that is it in a capitalist society.

David Laws has apologised for being homosexual, however, that is not the charge.

The charge is one of acting dishonestly with taxpayers money, to the tune of £40,000. Given that David Laws is a millionaire, he does not have any excuse to steal from many of those who are a lot poorer than him. Zac Goldsmith claimed that because he is independently wealthy, he is not in politics for the money therefore he can be trusted. This case highlights that independent wealth does not mean that one is necessarily honest.

David Laws is claiming that he stole the £40,000 because he and his partner, James Lundie, wished to protect their privacy. This is not a justification for being a thief. In any event, it is more likely that their privacy would have benefitted by David Laws being honest. Then he would not have attracted the adverse media attention.

“Anyone who knows David, knows he is someone of great integrity,” a friend of David Laws has said. However, integrity and fiddling expenses do not go together. Someone with integrity would not fiddle expenses. David Laws must be the only man during inflation whose cost of living expenses went down instead of up. However, his went down purely and simply because the rules had changed from not being required to provide receipts for expenses claimed to having to provide receipts.

He typically claimed between £50 and £150 a month for utilities and £100 to £200 for maintenance. Receipts were not provided to back up the claims.

However, in April 2008, the rules were changed and MPs had to provide receipts for any claims above £25. Mr Laws’s expense claims dropped sharply. For example, he claimed only £37 a month for utilities.

He obviously claimed the expenses just because the rules allowed him to do so. The rules were wrong, but more importantly David Laws was wrong to take the money just because nobody was looking. This makes him a sneak thief.

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