Most of the attention of expenses abuse has been on the Government, but let us take a look at the likely alternative and how the Tory Party milk the public teat for all it is worth.
The second home allowance was intended, rather reasonably, to allow those MPs who do not possess any great personal wealth to be able to support a London home to allow them to carry out their Parliamentary duties effectively. Part of the problem is that too many aspiring MPs, many never having done a real job nor made any money off their own back, see public office as a means to obtain wealth.
However another problem we see is those MPs who have made or inherited large a great deal of money, and see parliamentary expenses as an opportunity to top up their already lavish lifestyle. Last year the Spectator rather helpfully published a "Shadow Cabinet Rich List'. So let's take a look at how some already wealthy men use the public as a means to further enrich themselves.
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £23,075
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £22,994
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £11,610
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £19,626
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £18,668
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £23,083
Second home allowance claimed 2007/08: £21,376
I really don't want to go on. What does this say about these people's motivation in public office? Needless to say there are plenty more Tories and MPs of all parties abusing expenses in other ways. Yes, I mean you the Robinsons, the Wintertons, Balls and Cooper, Pickles, Spelman, McNulty and the rest of them.
I'll end on a more positive note. In a parliament where half of MPs claim within 10% of the maximum second home allowance, special mentions to few non-London MPs who don't claim any second home expenses - Adam Afriyie (Con), David Howarth (LibDem), Anne Milton (Con), Martin Salter (Lab), Rob Wilson (Con) and all others who take their role seriously.