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.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

James Purnell's "Golden Goodbye"

It has been revealed that Stalybridge & Hyde MP and former Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, James Purnell was given a "golden goodbye" for when he resigned as a cabinet minister back in June.

If an MP is to leave their ministerial post under any circumstances they are entitled to a severance payment equivalent to one quarter of their final salary. James Purnell's salary for being in charge of the DWP was £144,520 plus a generous pension, this would mean that Purnell would of been paid a staggering £36,130 for resigning from his government post.

Commenting on the news, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:

“People will be shocked to learn that former ministers get these pay-offs even when they have been sacked or left of their own free will.

“Ministers should not be rewarded for failure.

“While thousands are losing their jobs, failed ministers get a huge payout on top of their salary as MPs. This can’t go on.”

And if James Purnell loses his seat come the next general election, he will get a "resettlement grant" between £32,383 and £64,766 depending on the length of service as an MP or 50 to 100 per cent of his final salary. The first £30,000 of any ‘resettlement’ payment is tax-free.

According to the TaxPayer's Alliance, the "resettlement grant" is an alternative to redundancy and has been established to help MPs to adjust to "non parliamentary life". Diddums! This will come as a culture shock to Purnell who is nothing more than a career MP.

Source: Liberal Democrats

Monday, 17 August 2009

Flippin' Heck!

What do we have here? Not learning from his London apartment left like a pigsty, James Purnell's so called primary home is looking a right shit tip. Judging from the above picture with the kitchen sink, cooker and washing machine left in his front garden for all to see, it would seem that James Purnell is having a new kitchen fitted.

But why is James Purnell doing up his home when neighbors can't recall him staying over one night since buying the property in 2002? Only one can assume the village gossip in Broadbottom that Purnell is a fraud - according to green book rules, Purnell needs to stay at his primary residence (which he has nominated his Broadbottom home) for at least 183 days, so he can claim an additional costs allowance on a second property - which he has nominated in London, where he can always be found.

Because James Purnell is never in Broadbottom - not 183 days, he is fraudulently claiming for a second home at the expense of the taxpayer. Since the anger over MPs expenses, people are more savvy over the rules which puts Purnell in the spotlight. So we can only assume that Purnell has flipped his home to appease the commons authorities so he now pays for his London lifestyle from his own pocket.

Related article: Who Lives in a House Like This?
Hat-Tip: Longdendale Conservatives

Monday, 10 August 2009

Lord Sheldon: Tax Dodger, Thief...

The Times today reveals that former Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Lord Robert Sheldon dodged paying inheritance tax by giving his house to his son, Terry in 2003. The problem is that Lord Sheldon claimed the property to be his primary residence, yet it is alleged that he never lived there and fraudulently claimed £130,000 of expenses on the property over the past six years courtesy of the taxpayer.

House prices in the Darley Avenue area of Didsbury where Lord Sheldon's house is located (pictured right) are recently valued at £600,000. Taking today's house price, Terry Sheldon would be owing £110,000 in inheritance tax thus depriving Her Majesty's Treasury.

Sheldon's home in London is rather cushy too, it is located a stones throw away from the Ritz Hotel on Ryder Street. The apartment is in St. James's Chambers and according to the Times, properties in the area sell for an average of £1.1m.

It isn't the first time that Lord Sheldon has been involved in controversy. In 2000 a complaint was made about Lord Sheldon failing to fully declare his directorships and shareholdings. The complaint alleged that questions asking for aid from the government for manufacturers and exporters which Lord Sheldon asked in Parliament were a conflict of interest with the companies he owned which manufacture textiles and are traded across the globe. It was revealed in the investigation that in 1998, Lord Sheldon's companies made a total profit of £1.2m.

The whole situation stinks due to Labour defending high levels of inheritance tax saying it is reasonable, yet one of their Lord's is actively dodging it. The irony is that Lord Sheldon was once a Financial Secretary to the Treasury and in his later years as an MP, he served as Chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee scrutinizing public spending. Sheldon is a hypocrite of the highest order and his contempt for the public purse means that he should be stripped of his Lordship.

Those wishing to register a grievance with Lord Sheldon can do so by contacting him at: 27 Darley Avenue, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2ZD.

UPDATE: The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, the group who successfully campaigned to make MPs expenses public, has made an official complaint with the House of Lords authorities.

Roy "2 Jags" Oldham

You may have spotted two new Jaguar's parked besides the town hall steps. One is a Jaguar XJ and the other is a Jaguar XF which replace the Ford Dorchester. The council professes that the cars are a "greener deal".

Indeed the Jaguar's are a greener deal comparing them to the dated Ford Dorchester which does 12 Miles Per Gallon. The latest Jaguar XJ is quoted at doing 40.1 MPG and the Jaguar XF can do 37.6 MPG.

However if the council wants to go green then why couldn't it opt for a much greener vehicle such as the Toyota Prius which can do 65 MPG - nearly double that of the Jaguar's and much cheaper too! Tameside Council Leader, Cllr. Roy Oldham is constantly bleating about how environmentally friendly the Prius is, that he replaced the entire fleet of Ford Focus cars for the Prius. So why doesn't he drive in one himself?

Roy owns a Volkswagen Golf which is hardly ever used as he is chauffeur driven from his home in Mottram to the council offices. Even the Chief Executive, Steven Pleasant who lives in Broadbottom drives himself in a Prius to work. If it is good enough for Steven Pleasant, then why not Roy Oldham?

The cars cost the taxpayer a total of £1,662 per month, with the Jaguar XJ costing £950 per month and the Jaguar XF costs £712 per month. Both cars cost £44,650 and £33,464 respectively over their 47 month lease or £78,114 combined.

What is odd that the council could own a Jaguar XJ for £44,604 and an XF for £32,900. Both are cheaper to buy rather than rent, so why waste taxpayers money?

It seems that TMBC have not learned their lesson from last time when they caused a stink in the local press by leasing a BMW for dear old Uncle Roy. Now that the BMW has gone, we can now call our glorious leader, Roy "2 Jags" Oldham.