The 'Rug'

20 Jun 2009

Three years ago my wife and I had a weekend in Nottingham (Warners' Leisure, I can recommend it) on the way down to London by car and we came across this Oriental Rug shop. We went in and looked over the carpets, which were all far too expensive, and made to leave. The enterprising owner said he had more downstairs more "reasonably" priced.

We came across one that was £470 that we liked very much and decided - with no little encouragement from the owner - to buy it as it was just right for the flat. On reflection and in today's atmosphere it was probably over the top but we are where we are. (Compared with David Cameron and Nick Clegg my overall annual claims are reasonably modest.)

I asked the Fees Office if it would be a legitimate claim - I had already paid the money - and they said to send it in and they would look at it. Apparently, when the claim arrived at the fees office along with a receipt that said 'rug' rather than 'carpet' the officer ran his finger down the (then unheard of) 'John Lewis List' and saw that the maximum for 'rugs' was £300 so that is what was paid. The carpet is therefore financed 60% by the taxpayer and 40% by me.

However, in the current atmosphere and in recognition that the expenses system - as was - is unacceptable to people in general, I shall now return the £300 to the Fees office.

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Promoted by Ken Childs on behalf of David Clelland, both of 19 Ravensworth Road, Dunston, Gateshead. NE11 9AB