Sunday, 3 May 2009

Purnell on the fiddle


Mentally ill people being thrown off sickness benefit and told they are fit for work under Purnell's new ESA. The competences Mr Purnell has invented are all CAN DO competences of skills they may have so they pass the test. There are no CAN'T DO questions and some people who can't go out alone and can't go in a room with people they don't know are being passed as fit because the questionnaire is designed this way. People with mental illness are just breaking down under this insensitive cruelty.So well done Mr Purnell. You have taken £3000 a year benefit from these mentally ill people and caused them to get really ill again.


MP CLAIMED £10,000 MORE ON EXPENSES THAN HE PAID


JAMES PURNELL, the work and pensions secretary, was last night embroiled in a new expenses row as it was revealed he claimed £10,000 more from the parliamentary authorities than he paid in rent to the landlord of his London flat.

Purnell submitted claims of up to £2,020 a month to cover the cost of rent for his “second home”, but bank records show he paid his landlord a monthly sum of only £910.

The claims were made for the apartment in Covent Garden he shared with his former fiancĂ©e Lucy Walker, a documentary film maker. The disclosure follows the publication last week of photographs showing that at the end of his tenancy he left the flat “like a pigsty”.

The couple jointly rented the two-storey flat for £1,820 a month between December 2004 and June 2007. Although they paid equal sums of £910 a month, Purnell claimed far more than this on expenses.

For three months, the minister, who is now in charge of stopping benefits cheats, claimed the full amount of the rent of £1,820 and three times he claimed more than £1,900.

A spokesman for Purnell said he had done nothing wrong as Commons rules entitle MPs to claim a partner’s portion of the rent. “Notwithstanding his entitlement to claim the full rent, James claimed less than the amount he himself spent,” he said.

A friend of Purnell said the reason for the apparent disparity in the figures was that there was an arrangement under which he reimbursed Walker for some or all of her rent. “James earned more than Lucy and often as a film maker she would be abroad for months at a time. During those periods James would pay all of the rent. The claims for more than £1,820 are not suspicious. He would have been catching up on previous months.”


Sunday Times 3 May

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