The full list of written-off debts
Barry Gardiner (Labour, Brent North) - £77.30
Caroline Dinenage (Conservative, Gosport) - £13.50
Charles Hendry (Conservative, Wealden - until May 2015) - £87.60
Chris Skidmore (Conservative, Kingswood) - £125.00
Clive Efford (Labour, Eltham) - £79.20
Daniel Poulter (Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) - £229.62
David Mowat (Conservative, Warrington South) - £35.00
Edward Timpson (Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich) - £127.70
Frank Dobson (Labour, Holborn and St Pancras - until May 2015) - £7.50
Frank Roy (Labour, Motherwell and Wishaw - until May 2015) - £63.37
Guy Opperman (Conservative, Hexham) - £161.09
Ian Mearns (Labour, Gateshead) - £10.00
Joe Benton (Labour, Bootle - until May 2015) - £309.15
Julie Hilling (Labour, Bolton West - until May 2015) - £75.30
Khalid Mahmood (Labour, Birmingham Perry Barr) - £48.00
Laurence Robertson (Conservative, Tewkesbury) - £27.00
Michael Meacher (Labour, Oldham West and Royton) - £27.00
Paul Farrelly (Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme) - £28.00
Peter Bone (Conservative, Wellingborough) - £40.17
Sian James (Labour, Swansea East - until May 2015) - £193.00
Stephen Barclay (Conservative, North East Cambridgeshire) - £62.75
Stephen McCabe (Labour, Birmingham Selly Oak) - £27.00
Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat, Bristol West - until May 2015) - £209.18
Stewart Jackson (Conservative, Peterborough) - £7.50
Tim Yeo (Conservative, South Suffolk - until May 2015) £10.00
Tobias Ellwood (Conservative, Bournemouth East) - £26.50
The Commons Watchdog, having chased some of the debtors for eight months, has said it is not cost-effective to continue to pursue the debts above.
In July the Independent reported "Iain Duncan Smith’s official parliamentary credit card was suspended after he ran up more than £1,000 in expenses debts, according to records." Other mainstream media publications published the story so it was not a work of fiction or fabricated.
Reports claimed that IDS as he is often called as one of "19 MPs who have had their credit lines suspended since the start of the year because they owe money to Parliament’s expenses watchdog."
The British public were sickened by a previous expenses scandal and news that some MP debts are written off and that the overall expenses bill is increasing significantly will cause outrage.
Expenses scandal background 2009
2009 saw British Parliament rocked with revelations regarding the expenses MP'S were claiming. For those MPs with inventive imaginations it appeared that politicians in the UK did nothing wrong.
Expense claims have in some ways been within the rules, or had they?
By manipulating the rules and stretching the limits of what would appear to be legitimate expense claims some British MPs made wild, unrealistic and unbelievable claims. Some of the problem seems to have been the allowances for those politicians with constituencies at the opposite end of the country from parliament.
What was most shocking was how many politicians claiming inflated amounts of money in 2009 and earlier were Labour politicians.
As the party "of the people" it is hard for their supporters to condone such behaviour. As the ordinary man and woman on the street struggles with the diminishing value of money they have at their disposal, it seems obscene that a well-paid MP can claim thousands of pounds for "hanging baskets", to adorn the outside of one of their homes.
It is no more shocking than those wealthy politicians, perhaps from the Conservative party, who have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds for non-existent mortgage payments on floating second homes but perhaps we expected better of Labour. (I call them floating as some MPs switched which house was designated as their second home when it suited them and their family members financially)
But let's not kid ourselves that this was not a new phenomenon in 2009.
It will have been happening for many years to some degree or another. No wonder successive politicians grow fat whilst in office. The fact that the British taxpayer is footing the bill is what galls people.
After an anonymous information leak to The Telegraph, details of the expenses sham were gradually publicised. The right-wing press machine loved it with an election approaching.
Maybe the information was leaked a little at a time, but more likely the Telegraph decided to limit how much information was revealed, and when. Whatever the case it improved the Telegraph's stature and readership.
First Expense Details Online
Thursday June 18, 2009 MPs expenses were posted online. Over a year or so expense claims made by MPs were electronically scanned in order to start a period of 'openness'.
This backfired due to the politician's sense of greed and the whistle-blower; as this pre-empted the release of information many MPs found their expenses under intense public scrutiny.
MPs recent expenses claims and receipts appeared on Parliament's website but with limited information.
Much of the nitty gritty, of the details, that the public were hoping to pour over was blacked out leading to more suspicion and lack of faith in our politicians across all parties.
Many people felt that the election of two BNP, British National Party, Euro MPs in 2009 was down to the public's lack of faith in the usual English political parties. Some felt that it was a slap on the wrist for politicians from the general public, but at what a price.
Politician's stated that they were advised to censor their expense claims by means of a partial blackout in order to protect identities and sensitive information.
That may or may not be true and we shall never know. The scanning of such documents commenced before any politicians knew that this scandal was about to rock the boat. We can also perhaps think that this blackening out was done so that those working in the expenses office did not quite know what ridiculous amounts of money and items MPs were claiming for.
June 20, 2009, the full details of each and every politician’s expense claim were revealed in the Telegraph. Nothing blacked out or omitted. Just unadulterated, gobsmacking expensive, overinflated expense claims. If you have time to peruse them all, some will be acceptable, however many will not.
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is widely accepted as a Conservative or Tory newspaper. As such its editorial staff must have rubbed their hands with glee as the expenses information rolled in. But on a positive note the information needed to be revealed, the public made aware and such atrocious behaviour by politicians curtailed. On a negative note this tory rag loved pulling Labour down.
In 2009 we asked where we go from here.
Restoring some faith in British politicians and politics was never going to be easy. The political exercise this scandal seemed designed to commit did its trick and as predicted the Labour government fell in 2010.
Fact: MPs expense claims in England will never be the same again.
Those who struggle financially, when new to the political stage, will just have to lump it. This country cannot run the risk of something so devastating happening again.