Former MPs cannot be forced to repay debts to the taxpayer

“OUTRAGE erupted last night as parliamentary watchdogs revealed they have written off £35,000 of debt owed by MPs to the taxpayer.

The Sun can reveal that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has given up chasing expenses owed by 15 MPs who lost their seats in last year’s General Election – because of the legal costs in chasing them. …

The £35,000 of debt was 12 times as much as MPs owed the previous year.
In 2016/17 a total of £4,000 of debt owed by 10 MPs was written off. MPs owe the money from when they used their Parliament-issued credit card to claim personal or political purposes – such as hotels in London or for bills that fall outside strict spending rules. …

Ipsa can recover the money from their salary if MPs fail to repay the debt but that becomes harder after MPs are booted out by voters.

An Ipsa source said: “We’re no longer able to recover those costs and the cost of legal action doesn’t make it viable.”

Ipsa said it would only name and shame the former MPs in November.

But campaigners said it was scandalous that while ordinary Brits are harassed and put in prison for debt and unpaid taxes, MPs get away scot-free.”

Tory shire council in trouble fires its Finance Director with 24 hours notice

“Surrey County Council’s finance director has left her post suddenly as the council’s financial problems continue to mount.

Sheila Little, former president of the Society of County Treasurers, departed earlier this month with councillors receiving less than 24 hours’ notice of the news.

This week, a council report said the authority is forecasting an £11.8m overspend on its 2018–19 budget. …”

“More than half of homeless families in work, says Shelter”

“More than half of families living in temporary accommodation in England are in employment “working every hour they can”, says housing charity Shelter.
Its analysis suggests 55% of families (33,000) living in temporary digs were also working in 2017 – up 73% on 2013.

The charity blames a mix of expensive private rents, a housing benefit freeze and a chronic lack of social housing.

The government said it was investing £1.2bn to support homeless people.
Temporary accommodation is the property offered to people by local authorities after they have been declared without a permanent home.
“The link between an income and a job, which used to be enough to secure a home, is just completely breaking down in the housing market,” Greg Beales, Shelter’s director of policy, told BBC Breakfast. …”

600 less police than in 2010

“Devon and Cornwall police still have nearly 600 fewer officers now than they did eight years ago, despite an increase in numbers in the last year.

Government figures have revealed that Devon and Cornwall police had the equivalent of 2,959 full-time officers on their force in March 2018.

That’s an increase of 45 from the 2,914 full-time equivalent officers it had a year earlier.

However, despite this the force has lost more than one in every six of its officers since 2010, when there were 3,556 full-time officers on the team – a drop of 17% in less than a decade.

The increase seen in Devon and Cornwall in the last year has bucked the national trend. …”