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ANGER at Howarth's Expenses

July 6, 2009 8:30 PM

Local residents have been stunned and angered by the arrogant reaction of local Conservative MP Gerald Howarth following revelations about his expenses.

Houses of ParliamentHe has refused to apologise or repay a single penny of the £531,290 he claimed over the last four years, saying he could be earning more money in his previous job as a city banker!

Although London is only a 40 minute train journey away, our MP lives in Chiswick and keeps a second home in Farnborough, funded by taxpayers' money.

Local residents who have to commute to London each day by train are asking why Mr Howarth should not do the same.

Not content with his MP's salary of £64,766, Howarth splits his time between 3 jobs, including a £30,000 a year directorship of a company registered offshore in the Isle of Man (a well known tax haven).

The former banker was unrepentant, adding that people expected him to act as "squire of the manor" by paying for charity raffle gifts and attending events.

Local residents have been showing their disgust at our MP's milking of the expenses system, posting a record number of comments on the News & Mail's website www.gethampshire.co.uk

The Liberal Democrats have been calling for a complete overhaul of the expenses system for many years. In contrast, many Labour and Conservative MPs have done everything they could to hang on to their extravagant allowances.

Last year, Lib Dem MPs backed a radical set of changes to the system but were thwarted by an unholy alliance of Tory and Labour MPs. Howarth voted to block some of the most radical changes.