FENLAND: Retiring MP says expenses row will see him leave Commons "on a downer"
PUBLISHED: 12:27 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:03 02 June 2010
THE row over Parliamentary expenses has left MP Malcolm Moss leaving the House of Commons on a downer he said today. Mr Moss - who has published his expense claims for the past three years - is due to leave Parliament at the next election. The public s
THE row over Parliamentary expenses has left MP Malcolm Moss leaving the House of Commons "on a downer" he said today.
Mr Moss - who has published his expense claims for the past three years - is due to leave Parliament at the next election.
"The public service I have given for 22 years has been blown out of the window. I am finishing on a downer; it has left a nasty taste in the mouth," said the north east Cambridgeshire MP.
"I feel wretched and extremely sad, I feel frustrated because the public view of MPs is at a low ebb.
"The reputation of MPs is at rock bottom."
Back in 2006/2007 Mr Moss had to repay around £1,000 in interest he had over claimed in connection with his London flat, due to a change in interest charges. In 2007/08 he claimed £23,059 additional living costs for staying in London, ranking him 169th out of 645 MPs. The maximum allowance was £23,083.
In the autumn of 2007 Mr Moss sold his London flat, believing an election was about to be called.
He currently has a one-bedroom flat in Westminster. It is "not luxurious by any means," says Mr Moss. It has a small kitchen, tiny bathroom, and costs more than £2,000 a month,
"I am about to publish my expenses for the current year, all my allowance will be taken up by rent, I will have to pay council tax of £1,600 and heating and lights from my taxed income," he said.
"I have never bought furniture or televisions on expenses, I have only claimed for mortgage interest, rent, utilities and council tax."
Mr Moss says that despite some salacious revelations in the press about MPs' expenses, the majority of people have done the right thing.
"People were following the rules in the main," he said. "But claiming for swimming pools is pretty distasteful, it looks so bad."
Mr Moss advocates a cut in the number of MPs, with increased salaries that would cut out the need for allowances.