More on Selly Oak

This is just a quick note to let off steam because I’m annoyed. Naturally, it being the day before the election, I’ve had leaflets through my door for Steve McCabe and Nigel Dawkins (the Labour and Conservative candidates, respectively).

Dawkins’ leaflet arrived this morning. It took the form of a side-by-side comparison between the Labour and Conservative candidates (biased, obviously) and focussed on McCabe’s expenses claims. Possibly a little heavily. This is not what made me angry.

What annoyed me was the leaflet I received this afternoon from the McCabe campaign, defending him and branding Dawkins’ leaflet as a “smear campaign”. It claimed that McCabe “was not asked to pay back any money as part of the allowances and expenses scandal.” This is a distortion at best. According to the Telegraph article linked, he was cleared of deliberate wrongdoing but found to have over-claimed on his mortgage. He was asked to pay it back, but as deductions from future expenses claims which, being fair, he did fully agree to. He also denies Dawkins’ claim that he spent £5,500 on a new bathroom. He’s right to challenge Dawkins on this: McCabe didn’t spend £5,500 of taxpayers’ money on his bathroom. He spent it on his kitchen.

Quite frankly, the bloody pair of them need a damn good slap on the wrist and a stern ticking off for behaving like a pair of bickering schoolchildren by post. I’ve had a good root round, and I can’t find the source of Dawkins’ allegations against McCabe as far as his expenses are concerned. Blemished though his record may be, McCabe wasn’t one of the worst offenders in the expenses scandal. On the other hand, he finished his letter by saying:

[Dawkins] has also told you that in the 10 years he has been a member of the council he hasn’t claimed a penny in expenses.

What he hasn’t told you is that he received more than £112,741.55 from Birmingham City Council Tax Payers and that’s only for the 6 years for which payments are published – what is the total figure for 10 years?

I looked on the City Council website, which was where McCabe’s letter claimed this information is from. Here it is, in all its glory. Basically, this is the money councillors get for being councillors, and what Dawkins has been given is the basic allowance plus the special allowance for his role above and beyond general councillor duties. In other words, these are his wages. He hasn’t claimed for travel or anything else. So Dawkins has, in fact, been perfectly upstanding from the monetary claims point of view. (Incidentally, I’ll save you the bother of looking up Dave Radcliffe – he only takes the basic and special duties allowances, too.)

Going back to my point about McCabe claiming Dawkins has had £112,741.55 of Council Tax payers’ money, I will leave you simply by saying that, by his own logic, McCabe has had £1,077,988.00 from the taxpayer over the same period…

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~ by Scary Rob on 5 May, 2010.

4 Responses to “More on Selly Oak”

  1. naughty from the both of them, but not a shade on this that went out in my constituency:

    http://www.thestraightchoice.org/leaflets/1842/

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