Sunday, January 25, 2009

SNP and the Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance

Today's "Sunday Herald" covers the concerns about former SNP Dundee councillor and now MSP for North East Scotland (apparently this should now read "part of North East Scotland") Nigel Don over financial subsidy through the Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance. Click on the headline above to read the Sunday Herald's story. I paste my news release on the matter below.

Perhaps
Dundee SNP should, in light of this, consider reimbursing the City Council with the cost of administering the Lochee Ward by-election just over a year ago, as clearly, given the following quote from Mr Don :

"There are
nine constituencies in the north east region, and the SNP has constituency members in six of them. The three which we don't are West Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen Central and Aberdeen South. At a practical level, my job is to cover those kinds of areas."

... he dumped Dundee in order to help the SNP in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire!

NEWS RELEASE : Dundee councillor slams “scandal” of MSP’s mortgage interest claims from the taxpayer

Following revelations in a Sunday newspaper today, Dundee City Liberal Democrat Councillor for the West End, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, has called the actions of SNP MSP Nigel Don in selling his Dundee home, then purchasing a house in Aberdeen, making himself eligible for nearly £700 a month from the taxpayer to pay his mortgage on a third property in Edinburgh, “a scandal.”

Cllr Macpherson said, “In his interview with the press, Mr Don made clear that he moved his family home from Dundee to Aberdeen in the knowledge that, as Aberdeen is far enough away from Edinburgh to allow MSPs to get a mortgage subsidy from the taxpayer on his Edinburgh flat. Indeed, he said the moves were “co-ordinated” – it appears SNP MSP Mr Don has dumped Dundee and taken advantage of the Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance at the same time, and the taxpayer is the loser.”

Cllr Macpherson said that, in addition to the natural outcry from taxpayers at the way advantage has been taken of the Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance, he was also deeply concerned at the cynical approach the SNP appeared to be taking at representing the people of the North East of Scotland.

In speaking to a Sunday newspaper, Mr Don said that, rather than represent the whole of North East Scotland, which is what he was elected to do, he admitted,

“There are nine constituencies in the north east region, and the SNP has constituency members in six of them. The three which we don't are West Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen Central and Aberdeen South. At a practical level, my job is to cover those kinds of areas."

Cllr Macpherson said, “It appears that Nigel Don has no intention of properly representing the whole of the region he was elected to represent. He has admitted that he thinks his job is to cover areas where the SNP doesn’t represent the area at constituency level.

Leaving aside the obvious
concern that SNP MSPs are robots controlled by party headquarters and told to up sticks and move from where they have lived for 20 years, simply to help SNP campaigning, Mr Don has used the Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance to assist him to do so. It is an absolute scandal and shows the cynicism of the SNP in terms of the way they approach representing the electorate.”