Friday, January 22, 2010

Harry Cohen not repaying but not getting resettlement grant

Labour MP and top level trougher Harry Cohen will not be given the resettlement grant, meaning that he will miss out on £65,000 of tax payer money as a result of his years of “service”.

The Standards and Privileges committee have said “In our Second Report of the current Session, we responded to the recommendation of the Committee on Standards in Public Life that the House should be prepared to withhold resettlement grant from Members who commit serious breaches of the rules.”

“Mr Cohen's breach was particularly serious and it involved a large sum of public money. Withholding of the resettlement grant is a severe sanction, which will effectively recover from Mr Cohen a similarly large sum of public money. We understand that the resettlement grant payable to a Member with Mr Cohen's length of service is the maximum, which is about £65,000. “

What’s interesting is what they say about recovering a large sum of public money implying that he will not be asked to repay anything as a result of this sanction. Surely he should be asked to repay and have this taken away as well?

The Committee has said that “we conclude that Mr Cohen received over £60,000 from Parliamentary allowances to which he was not entitled.”

Does anyone known if Kelly et al told him he had to pay it back? So effectively he's not missing out on £65,000 he's only missing out on £5,000. Is that really a punishment for such a blatant breach?

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