OF WALES & THE WELSH
Greg Lance – Watkins
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North Wales MPs made hundreds of thousands of pounds in profit selling homes you paid for
Ten years on from the expenses scandal, North Wales Live reveals how much politicians made from taxpayer-funded accommodation but MPs say they acted within he rules
MPs who made £42 million in profits on properties funded by taxpayers during the expenses scandal are being urged to pay the cash back.
North Wales members of parliament made hundreds of thousands of pounds profit at the time, under the discredited scheme.
The figures came to light after an investigation by Mirror Online on the 10th anniversary of the expenses scandal.
They show 160 Members of Parliament earned a total of £42m from selling second homes on which the mortgage interest was paid from public purse.
North Wales MPs who benefited include Labour’s Delyn MP David Hanson, who made almost £238,000 profit from selling two London properties, in 2007 and 2011.
Elfyn Llwyd paid at least £50,000 in capital gains tax made from selling his London house in 2011.
Under parliamentary rules the four, who reclaimed more than £131,000 of mortgage interest payments in total, are entitled to keep the money.
But campaigning journalist and former Tatton MP Martin Bell said it should be paid back.
Mr Bell said: “I think they may be within the rules but outside the spirit of them. It’s all public money. There should be no profit made at the expense of the taxpayer.
“If I were in that position I would find it very difficult to offer a plausible defence.”
Until 2010, MPs – except those with seats in inner London – were allowed to claim up to £24,000 a year for a second home under the controversial Additional Costs Allowance (ACA), which members had been claiming since 1972.
They were able to claim the interest payments on their mortgages along with running costs such as fuel bills, council tax and cleaners.
What they claimed and what the profits were
David Hanson – Delyn MP: 1992-present
- Bought property July 1998 for £85,000, sold in February 2007 for £239,950 – profit £154,950
- Bought property February 2007 for £490,000, sold in November 2011 for £570,000 – profit £80,000 – total profit from second home sales £234,950
- Claimed at least £69,000 in mortgage interest payments
- Also claimed more than £7,000 in legal fees, stamp duty and land registry fees
Mark Tami – Alyn and Deeside MP: 2001-present
- Bought property December 2002 for £192,500, sold in June 2007 for £244,000 – profit £52,500
- Claimed at least £10,500 in mortgage interest payments
- Claimed additional £3,500 for bathroom refurbishment, £960 for external painting and £9,000 as a “stamp duty contribution” on selling property
- Ordered to pay back £996.70 for overpaid council tax and water rates as part of Legg Inquiry
Elfyn Llwyd – Meirionnydd Nant Conwy MP: 1992-2010, then Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP: 2010-2015
- Says he bought London property “well before” 2006 (cost unknown), sold in 2011 for £272,000
- Claimed at least £24,084 in mortgage interest payments back to 2004
- Paid “in excess of” £50,000 in capital gains tax
- Ordered to pay back £927.66 as part of the Legg Inquiry for duplicate expense claims
Ian Lucas – Wrexham MP: 2001-present
- Bought property February 2003 for £205,000, sold in March 2007 for £250,000 – profit £45,000
- Claimed more than £28,000 in mortgage interest payments
- Claimed additional £6,245 in solicitor’s, mortgage and estate agent fees
They could also claim up to £400 per month for food, without a receipt. The system was abolished when the expenses scandal broke.
All four MPs acted within the guidelines at the time. North Wales Live asked them whether they felt they should at least pay back the mortgage interest payments they received from their profits, as called for by Mr Bell.
Mr Hanson said: “Capital gains were fully declared to HMRC and tax paid. All other questions are matters of public record or opinion and I have no further comment.”
Labour’s Mark Tami said: “I can confirm all capital gains obligations were paid. All other relevant information is already in the public arena.”
Plaid Cymru’s Elfyn Llwyd, who bought his London home “well before” 2006, sold it in 2011, for £272,000.
Mr Llwyd, who was an MP from 1992 to 2015 and is now Plaid’s shadow counsel general for the Welsh Assembly said: “I paid the capital gains tax in full. From memory I recall that it was in excess of £50,000.”
Labour Wrexham MP Ian Lucas sent North Wales Live a letter he received from Sir Thomas Legg, who conducted a review into ACA expenses scheme. It said: “Mr Lucas has no issues (in relation to expenses claimed).” He declined to comment further.
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