The Telegraph had said they would publish the un-redacted expense claims of all MPs. Currently there are only two pages of Kevin’s on their website, which relate to his unexplained large jump in mortgage interest claims. They show a claim of £1791.72 in December 2005, rising to £2007.70 in September 2007.
We know from Kevin’s expenses that the mortgage he claims on his Additional Costs Allowance is with the National Westminster Bank. We can see from this document that the base rate of the bank was 4.5% in August 2005, and was either 5.75% or 5.5% in September 2007, which could explain the rise. It will be interesting to see how much he has claimed in the current financial year as interest rates have fallen again. Of course this assumes he is using one of Nat West’s standard variable mortgage products, but we don’t know for certain because the claims were so heavily redacted, and it is quite hard to get information from Kevin himself, what with him having a policy of not resoponding to my letters.
I’ve made some assumptions though – and bear in mind these are assumptions. If the interest only mortgage Kevin has charges interest at 0.5% above the base rate, it points to a mortgage somewhere in the region of £300,000 to £315,000. Although that’s not an unrealistic amount for a Westminster flat now (this studio currently for sale £285,000 looks quite nice, as does this flat for £295,000) it would have been an awful lot for a flat 1o years ago, or even 25 years ago, when Kevin as first elected. What we need to know as constituents is when Kevin bought his flat, how much he paid for it, and what he intends to do with the capital gain when he retires. Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us, Kevin?
I don’t know if The Telegraph will eventually publish all the documents in time, or will only ever publish the ones they are interested in. As ever, we’ll have to wait, or try and get the Telegraph interested in more documents.