The link below provides great detail of why I'm so pissed off:
A little background to explain some of the underpinnings:
MPs (Members of Parliament), which are like the equivalent of members of Congress in the US, while 'serving' in London can claim expense for said serving. Just like in the US, as DC is the political capitol where representatives come from all over the country and spend a good bit of time away from home in DC, the same is true of MPs and London. In the US, most representatives are easily hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their constituency-given the size of the US. The one big difference being that as London and the surrounding areas are so populous, many representatives that spend time 'away from home' in reality only commute 10 miles into London from their constituency.
Follow me so far? Here comes the part that I'm pissed off about. While 'away from home,' MPs have the option of claiming a second home as their place of residence while working in London. OK. Seems fair enough on the surface. The killer is that many of these MPs primary homes are also in London, and in some cases, only mere miles apart. And, when claiming a 2nd home, they can be reimbursed for the expense by the government. The 2nd home expense covers everything from mortgages, repairs, furnishings....etc up to £24k a year that is reimbursable. £24k. You can buy a lot of house for £24k a year (even in London)-even if that only partially covers your mortgage.
Well...aside from the *incredibly* shady expense claims that are being made (one MP recently got called out for expensing £10 of porn DVD rentals from her husband...), it's now come to light that MPs are selling (or even 'flipping') their 2nd homes-and making a tidy profit. All while their MORTGAGE WAS FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS. So, MPs are pocketing the profits from selling their 2nd homes, all while never having actually paid for the mortgage/equity in the home themselves, and in many cases, not having to pay any capital gains taxes on the sale.
And, in the course of all of this, it has made me wonder about our own policies in the US with regard to these possible expenses/reimbursements/2nd homes...etc...I can't say I recall ever hearing anything about the outrageous claims/problems that are going on here, but is it because the problem doesn't exist-I it just hasn't been sussed out yet. If it's the latter, and I'm sure it is...I'm already pissed about that as well.