Taxpayers pay for MP’s dog food

by Leanne Thompson on May 11, 2009

Dog food is just one of the items being highlighted in the latest MP scandal as the media has spent the last few weeks revealing how taxpayers are covering the cost of far more than they should.

Shadow Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan, is known for her dedication to her two dogs, one of whom even took the title of the Westminster Dog of the Year back in 1996.

Mrs Gillan has come under fire as it has been reported she claimed back the cost of her dog food in a Sainsbury’s receipt within her second home allowance.

The till receipt totalled £27.25 and £4.47 of that was spent on one bag of Lams and two cans of Caesar for her two beloved dogs. This has angered some dog owners who are struggling to feed their own dogs in the current economic climate and are disappointed to find their hard earned cash paying for MP’s luxuries and day to day essentials.

Mrs Gillan has apologised, saying she is mortified by the claim and has promised to pay back the money. She added the claim was made in error and that both dogs had since died. We’re not entirely sure how that is relevant but perhaps Mrs Gillan felt it may evoke some sympathy from an angry nation.

Two claims for gas bills from Mrs Gillan were also reduced because her gas account was in credit.

David Cameron, leader for the Conservatives, said these disclosures marked another bad day for Parliament. Details of millions of receipts for MP’s expenses claims were due to be published in July following an extended Freedom of Information campaign however these have been leaked and the Daily Telegraph has been publishing excerpts in the last week.

Today, plans for an independent auditing body to check and oversee all expense claims from MP’s are expected to be approved. This will reportedly cost around £600,000 per year, but should put an end to MP’s claiming for inappropriate expenditure on items such as dog food.

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