Over on Liberator magazine's accompanying blog you can read two new articles by me.

(1) Maria Miller expenses – fraud on the electorate more than money?

(2) EU spending reform – a quick and simple place to start.

(1) Maria Miller expenses – fraud on the electorate more than money?

Extract from the piece: "I have no doubt the press are hounding her to attack the Leveson charter. [but] She may well have engaged in fraudulent behaviour and her conduct has further damaged belief in the integrity of politicians. .. She pretended her main home was in her Basingstoke constituency when it was in London (a fraud on the public), and she claimed for interest that she was not entitled to. The Committee may well be right that only £5,800 was clearly obtained in breach of the rules but Maria Miller's denial that she intended to claim interest on a £50,000 increase that she was not entitled to seems flimsy. The allowances may have been far too generous [however] it still seems implausible that she didn't realise she was claiming this (much smaller than Commissioner ruled) sum of money that she was not entitled to. That would be actual fraud.

http://liberator-magazine.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/maria-miller-expenses-fraud-on.html

(2) EU spending reform – a quick and simple place to start.

Cut the expenses paid to consultants on EU funded aid projects.

Extract from piece: "Look at the per diem rates July 2013- currently the EU allowances cover nearly the cost of a night and expenses in the dearest cities in Europe (like London or Paris) for consultants in the poorest countries (just looking at Europe, like Albania or Macedonia or Moldova). The rates are €276 in the UK, €245 in France, €233 in Albania, €171 in Macedonia and €173 in Moldova. Obviously the allowances in London or Brussels or Paris are very generous and could be cut easily – it would just mean consultants having to stay in less plush accommodation and eat in less expensive restaurants."

"A place to start saving money is cutting the very generous expenses payments that EU funded aid projects pay. Halve these per diems paid by EU to save taxpayers' money – that would be a small but significant saving. And I believe more of the money would then go to local businesses rather than to international hotel chains."

http://liberator-magazine.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/eu-spending-reform-quick-and-simple.html