Tony Blair left a 7,000-pound roof-repair bill just two days before stepping down

June 19th, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 19 (ANI): Two days before stepping down as British Prime Minister, Tony Blair submitted a whopping 6,990 pounds expense claim for roof repairs on his designated second home, it has emerged. Blair submitted an invoice on June 25 for “roof repairs,” and left Downing Street on June 27.

The bill, dated June 8, suggests that Blair arranged for the work to be done after he had announced the date when he would be leaving parliament, The Telegraph reports.

The expense claim is yet another example of an MP taking the last available opportunity to exploit the system to renovate their designated second home with thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money, the paper said.

Blair’s claim was reduced to 4,453 pounds by the fees office, but he was able to claim 5,772 pounds in the 2007-08 financial year, despite being in office for less than three months.

British MPs are allowed to claim “winding up” expenses in the weeks before they leave parliament, but more and more outgoing members doing up their homes often leads to the allegation that they are abusing the system in bid to sell their houses on higher prices, the report added.

A spokesman for Blair, however, said: “Roof repairs were carried out well before Tony Blair announced that he was standing down as PM, but the claim was made much later.”

Blair’s claim forms for the additional costs allowance for 2004-2007 also showed that he claimed 177.13 pounds for food and 131.50 pounds for his television licence apart from an annual newspaper bill of 1,167.48 pounds and regular bills for his Orange mobile phone. (ANI)

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