Expenses cheat ex-mp paying back just £100 per month
A FORMER Labour MP who was caught up in the expenses scandal is still paying off his £18,000 debt more than 12 years after stepping down from Parliament, a Commons spokesman has revealed.
John Lyons, the former trade union official and MP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, is repaying just £100 a month without interest, the spokesman added.
In 2009, an audit conducted by Sir Thomas Legg found hundreds of MPS had ignored their own rules to milk a “deeply flawed” expenses system, in a scandal that shook Parliament.
Mr Lyons was subsequently asked to repay over-claimed expenses after he failed to provide the Legg audit with evidence to support mortgage interest claims totalling £18,780.80.
He was then granted permission to clear his debt at a rate of £100 per month, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Mailonline.
The FOI also revealed that the 67 year-old has failed to pay the full £1,200 in some years.
James Price, campaign manager at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be deeply upset to discover an MP is taking so long to repay money he wrongly received in the first place.
“Why he should be allowed to pay it back more slowly than people who make honest mistakes on their tax returns is beyond me.
“Mr Lyons is not even paying interest on what is effectively a taxpayerbacked loan, and he definitely should be, at the very least, at the rate at which the Government has to borrow money,” he added.
Mr Lyons did not respond to a request for comment.