Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron, who reportedly claimed monthly mortgage interest of £1,509 on his London flat in 2004/05, which rose to £1,791 in 2005/06. It increased in 2007/08 to more than £2,000;
When I uploaded the information that Kevin Barron MP has in his surgery window in Dinnington I noted that it wasn’t clear if the amounts he claimed under the heading Rent/Mortgage Interest was, in fact rent, or mortgage interest.
The figures got higher year on year – despite interest rates varying very little – so I thought they might be rent, but The Star seems certain they are mortgage interest payments. I’m not sure where they have got their figures from though, as they don’t match the ones in the window – but then they don’t match the figures previously published either.
The figures in the window of Kevin Barron’s surgery window for Rent/Interest claimed on expenses are:
2004/5 £14,557.70 (average of base-rate in period 4.6%)
2005/6 £17,098.76 (average of base-rate in period 4.58%)
2006/7 £18,481.25 (average of base-rate in period 4.83%)
2007/8 £19,936.72 (average of base-rate in period 5.52%)
The biggest percentage increase is from 2004/5 to 2005/6, when the interest claimed by Kevin Barron MP went up by over 17%, despite the base rate falling.
What is interesting is that Kevin Barron MP claimed pretty much the most he could each year. I can’t find the figures for the yearly limits as yet, but I know that he was claiming the absolute maximum in the latest year – one can only assue he shopped around for his mortgage very carefully each year in order to maximise the amount he could pay to a mortgage company, or that he had a very bad mortgage deal that got more expensive each year even when the base rate fell, or that he has increased the amount he has borrowed each year.
If I could claim my mortgage interest on expenses and wanted to make some money out of it, I think I would soon think of the idea of extending the value of my mortgage each year and using the borrowed money to pay of some of the capital. The increased annual allowance would allow of the extra borrowing (which would have been supported by the rise in value of the property) and I would be left with a property with more equity – thus meaning when I sold it I made more money.