MPs must cut public spending
Of all the outrageous stories about expenses claimed by our MPs, from moat-cleaning to property empire-building, the most galling was the one about Alistair Darling charging us for the accountant who helped fill out his tax return.
Every year – usually the week before it’s due in, I’m ashamed to admit – I have a mad scramble to dig up all my receipts, track down my self-assessment form and hope the computer doesn’t crash while I’m filing a return that grows more complicated with every passing Budget.
If I want the luxury of help, I have to pay for it. Yet the man who puts me through this misery – the man who in effect writes the tax laws – gets someone else to do it for him, and then charges the fee to you and me. The cheek!
So I was glad to see that HM Revenue & Customs has pointed out to Mr Darling and the 40-odd MPs who did the same, that “accountancy fees incurred in connection with the completion of a personal tax return are not deductible” and, indeed, never have been. So at least the taxman will be able to claim a small chunk of our money back to waste elsewhere…
• Read the full editor’s letter here: MPs must cut public spending