Have you got a story to tell? Have you been through the mincer of TMBC's Pay & Grading Review/Job Evaluation? Or have you been made redundant by the Guardian Media Group? Do you want to hit back? Do you have a story - or any information - which you'd like us to know in case we can use it in some way to attack the political and media Cartel in Tameside? Drop us a line - email tamesidemafia@gmail.com.

Monday, 25 May 2009

James Purnell's "Conservative" Reading List

Yet more expenses have come out for Stalybridge and Hyde MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell. Instead of the more trivial items, The Telegraph is starting to get to the nitty gritty of his expense claims.

Many have argued that the careerist MP is a Conservative in wolves clothing and looking at the books that James reads, that would suggest so. James, who is close friends of the former Prime Minister Tony Blair and tipped as a future leader of the Labour Party, claimed a total of £42 on books from Amazon courtesy of the taxpayer which included:

Reflections of the Revolution in France Book Cover by Edmund BurkeReflections on the Revolution in France
Edmund Burke

According to the Telegraph, this book is kept by Conservatives as a case against 20th Century Socialism. Other books by the author include "The evils of revolution".

Amazon price: £6.29

Modern Conservatism
David Willetts MP

Penned by the Conservative MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Willets is seen as a 'centrist moderniser' in David Cameron's Conservatives. Before becoming an MP he served as a researcher to Nigel Lawson and later Margaret Thatcher's policy unit.

Amazon Price: £0.01 (Used and New)

Good to Great book cover by Good to Great
Jim Collins

Jim Collins is a management theorist. According to the Telegraph, the book tells readers “there are no silver bullets to greatness”.

Amazon Price: £15.39

Following on from the article, the Telegraph alleges that James claimed £247 for 3,000 “flexible fridge magnets”. We can only presume that they are for the big fridge which accommodates £400 a months worth of groceries. Also claimed was £223 for a new digital camera which was classed as an office expense.

On another article, The Telegraph attacks MPs who used taxpayer funds to promote themselves with local sports teams. Purnell claimed £411.25 on a programme advertisement for the 2004/05 season at Stalybridge Celtic Football Club as part of his communications allowance. The Telegraph doesn't mention any further advertising after that. Perhaps it had something to do with the small detail that there was a general election in 2005?

The hole for James just gets deeper ...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

James Purnell's Constituents Not Fooled At All

Tameside Advertiser letters on James Purnell's expenses

Click to enlarge

This week's Advertiser carries a postbag of angry letters published in relation to Stalybridge & Hyde MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell's expenses and his somewhat "empty" call for reform on MPs expenses. Nobody was fooled...

Labour member Dr. Kailash Chand with James PurnellNow there has to be one idiot and that came from Labour party member, Dr. Kailash Chand (Pictured with Purnell at the 2005 General Election) who thinks MPs expenses should be kept secret! 

And today, James Purnell faced fresh allegations from the Daily Telegraph that like Hazel Blears, owes money in unpaid capital gains tax and new expense claims. This time for claiming £395 on an accountant for “tax advice provided in October 2004 regarding sale of flat”. Which means he is too lazy or thick to fiddle his own expenses. Another spokesman for James Purnell responded to the Telegraph stating:

“Any allegation that James avoided capital gains tax is completely untrue. When he bought his constituency home, the sale of his London flat fell through, but it was sold within the period that HMRC continue to treat it as not being liable for CGT.

“No one pays CGT when they sell the only house they own and James was not liable for capital gains tax on his London flat.

“This would have been true for any taxpayer — there was no special treatment. To be clear that he was paying the right tax, James sought advice at the time and has since contacted the HMRC to ask them to double check. HMRC have confirmed that there is no CGT to pay.”

Which we agree with. Purnell owes NO capital gains tax. He is telling the truth when he says his primary home is in London and he is never in Broadbottom. He has a lot of questions to answer for claiming a second home allowance. Since becoming an MP in 2001, Purnell has claimed £143,695 on his London home. His record on TheyWorkForYou shows that James has constantly claimed the maximum in Additional Costs Allowances.

Purnell continued to refute the claims that he avoided paying capital gains tax on the BBC's North West Tonight (below) by saying "I do not avoid taxes, I do not seek to avoid taxes, I believe people should pay their taxes and I paid every penny that was due".

When James Purnell was asked by NWT if he would be suing the Daily Telegraph for being accused of something that's not true, he dodged the question by laughing it off saying "I hope you enjoyed my welfare speech and I'm delighted you came".

Expenses maybe a laughing matter for James, but not for his constituents. Judging by the comments made in the local press, they are eager to get rid of this hypocrite.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Who Lives in a House Like This?

Who lives in a house like this? Well this Labour MP really likes his net curtains. Known to be a mucky MP - not for his reputation as a womanizer with his numerous flings with women or the auctioneering of the Hutton report signed by Alistair Campbell and Cherie Blair, but by his somewhat lack of cleanliness. Notice how the bins have been left knocked over and the PVC windows need a good scrubbing. Over to you David...

Yes this is the home of the Cabinet Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, James Purnell MP. The MP for Stalybridge & Hyde who has a salary of over £140,000 per year supposedly lives in a terraced house which he bought in 2002 for £50,000 as his primary home at 66 Mottram Road, Broadbottom.

Purnell quickly obtained the house after inheriting the "safe" seat of Stalybridge & Hyde from Lord Tom Pendry after being dropped in there by his long time good friend, Tony Blair in an attempt to make it look like as if he was a local lad. James lives in quite a desirable area of Tameside. The house prices for the area are considerably low in comparison to other houses in the area which averaged over £75,000.

Rumour has it that the houses in that row of terraces suffer from subsidence hence the cheap price. So presumably a bank wouldn't hand out a mortgage, so he would have to buy the house outright. Money being no problem for James after being privately educated from the Guildford Royal Grammar School which currently costs £4244 per term.

Lets cut to the chase. Purnell is one of the MPs currently being investigated by HMRC for dodging paying Capital Gains Tax for "flipping" his primary home. The Times originally reported in 2008 that Purnell sold his London "mansion" in 2004 as his primary household in order to avoid paying capital gains tax. Yet he claimed the full amount in additional costs allowance (ACA) for his second home through 2001 to 2003. However somewhat conveniently for James, he could not remember which property he claimed on between becoming an MP in 2001 to 2003. He claimed to the Times that "parliamentary authorities had destroyed the records because they were so old". According to the Express, James is not offering to pay back the dodged capital gains tax.

As mentioned in the past, we are confused as to why James Purnell is charging the taxpayer over £2,000 a month to rent a London apartment which he leaves like a tip, yet he has sold his mansion off. It just doesn't make sense. It is obvious that Purnell is keeping his Broadbottom home as a shed to claim it is his primary home so he can keep to his comforts in London where he was originally a councillor in Islington to claim ACA.

Purnell is already digging a hole for himself by bleating to the local press that expenses need reform. It as seen as by many, too little, too late especially after being caught with the hands in the till. As one reader pointed out, Commons guidelines say that for a home to be classed as a main residence, a MP needs to spend more than 183 days a year there. Going off the above pictures, it is highly unlikely that James lives here. After conversing with neighbours, they confirmed that they know that the house belongs to James Purnell, but they have never seen him there. Instead we are lead to believe that when on constituency business that James spends his time in the Raddison Hotel in Manchester.

We, the taxpayer are paying for James Purnell to live a lavish lifestyle in London at our expense by scoffing through £400 a month on grocery expenses whilst his constituents struggle to pay the bills and suffer from high levels of unemployment as a result of Labour's recession. What makes it all worse is that James is telling the public that there needs to be a crackdown on benefit claims - it isn't really credible coming from a minister abusing those rules. He even has the nerve to say that £60 a week Job Seekers Allowance is enough to live on, yet he claims many times over that. His position as MP for Stalybridge and Hyde is untenable and we don't mean a sacking from Gordon Brown, but the only option to get rid of this crook good and proper - the ballot box.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Purnell Pockets £10k

For the third time within a month, Stalybridge and Hyde MP and Cabinet Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, James Purnell has been yet again caught abusing the Parliamentary expenses by claiming £10,143 more for his rent on his London home which he left like a "pigsty".

The Sunday Express (who must really have it in for James) have revealed that Purnell was claiming £2010 a month for his rent yet according to bank records actually only paid £910 every month. Out of the £2010 Purnell would "reimburse" his ex-fiance, Lucy Walker.

The news comes after the porky parliamentarian claimed £400 a month on groceries and £100 a month on hiring a cleaner.

What confuses the mafia is that James sold his London "mansion" in 2004 as his PRIMARY residence and dodged paying £20,000 of capital gains tax regardless of claiming a SECOND home allowance. So if he sold a property then why is he now renting somewhere? Does Purnell have another house elsewhere which we don't know about? Is he building a property portfolio whilst we pay for him to pig out?

It is clear that James Purnell has been taking the piss out of the tax payer - whether it is in the rules or not. As the man in charge of a crackdown on so-called benefit cheats and enforcing stricter rules on claiming disability benefits he contradicts the message he is trying to send out to the public by fiddling the system himself.