Indian origin Brit MP claimed wrong mortgage payments

June 21st, 2009 - 12:44 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 21 (ANI): Indian origin British MP Parmjit Dhanda, who is the youngest contender to become the Speaker of the House of Commons, has repeatedly claimed the wrong amount of mortgage on his expenses.

On at least two occasions, Dhanda (37), over claimed on his additional costs allowance (ACA), which covers second home costs. At other times, he may have under claimed.

Documentation shows that he apparently charged taxpayers for capital repayments as well as mortgage interest, The Telegraph reports.

Dhanda, the Labour MP for Gloucester, would become the first ethnic minority Speaker if he is successful on Monday.

He has said he decided to run for the post after the far-Right British National Party won two seats in the European Parliament earlier this month.

Dhanda, who was a Communities Minister until last year, designates a flat near Westminster as his second home and uses the ACA to help meet the cost of his mortgage.

Under the rules, MPs can only claim mortgage interest on expenses, not capital repayments. However, Dhanda repeatedly claimed the full monthly mortgage payment.

In March 2004, he submitted a claim of 708.33 pound, which was paid in full by the Commons fees office. Yet a statement from his mortgage lender, sent by the MP to the fees office to support his claim, shows that while he paid the lender 708.33 pound, the “interest due” that month was stated to be only 648.83 pound.

In his response to The Sunday Telegraph, Dhanda said: “From my recollection the mortgage was an interest-only mortgage at the time. I made sure I sent the fees office regular statements and I note that they made corrections whenever they saw fit. At no time did they feel the need to contact me to say there was an issue.” (ANI)

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