Ukip leader Nigel Farage and his Euro MPs claimed nearly £800,000 in expenses and allowances from the EU in one year.
The party’s grasping MEPs nabbed £370,000 for office costs, and got nearly £420,000 subsistence allowances for meals and hotels.
MEP and deputy party leader Paul Nuttall employed 12 members of staff.
Farage and East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer put their wives on the Brussels payroll. Kirsten Farage “earned” up to £30,000 while Sara Helmer pocketed up to £20,000.
Ukip MEPs claimed an average of £35,635 each in “general expenditure allowances” in 2012.
The allowances came on top of their £79,000 salaries, first class travel expenses and “daily subsistence allowance”. That’s what they get for turning up
Ukip MEPs claimed the daily allowance for an average of 86 days each. Labour MEPs claimed around 128 days each.
Nuttall, North West MEP, claimed the daily subsistence allowance just 30 times in 2012. His allowances claims last year ran to £40,436.
He was among seven MEPs who gave Ukip a total of £425,978 in cash and other benefits after election.
Farage’s allowances of £61,065 only includes subsistence for the last six months.
In 2009 Farage promised that his MEPs would “provide a quarterly expenses statement”. They have not published any for more than a year.
It's a dog's life for Facebook founder's friends
What did Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire Facebook founder, give friends for Christmas?
Socks—but as a personal touch, the hosiery had been hand-stitched with a likeness of Zuckerberg’s shepherd dog, which goes by the name of Beast.
This is the entrepreneur who keeps his glass meeting room at a frugal 20 degrees Celsius to keep staff “alert”.
We need to cut staff to hire managers
Cabinet Office chief Francis Maude hired a private recruiting firm to find 130 “great managers and policy advisers”.
It tells prospective candidates, “You will be pushing through important areas of deregulation, managing the Red Tape Challenge website and ensuring essential Cabinet committee clearances across the RTC team.”
The potential wage bill is more than £6 million.
The price of oil
MPs have splurged around £250,000 on getting portraits painted. The spree included £10,000 on a portrait of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and £4,000 to preserve foreign secretary William Hague in oils. A painting of Kenneth Clarke cost £8,000.
The Baron's Speech
George Osborne and other ministers splashed out £10,000 on acting lessons. Osborne took voice coaching in 2008 make him sound less “posh”.
The Treasury paid for two sets of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) courses at £1,541 and £1,500.
The great academies scam
The Grace Academy has paid more than £1 million to companies controlled by its founder Lord Edmiston, trustees’ relatives or to the board of trustees.
The trust paid £533,789 to International Motors Limited, a company owned by the Tory donor.
More than £173,000 was handed over to Grace Foundation and Christian Vision, charities founded by Edmiston. And £100,000 was paid to a company controlled by a trustee’s son-in-law.
Gary Spencer, Lady Edmiston’s brother, is the trust’s executive director. His company has been paid £367,732 for consultancy work.
Leigh Academies Trust, run by Frank Green the schools commissioner, has paid £111,469 for consultancy work since 2010 to Shoreline, a company he founded.
And Aurora Academies Trust has paid £213,015 to Mosaica Education which includes relatives of its directors.
Chief Downing Street spinner Craig Oliver told Tory ministers in a slide show presentation the Tories had won the arguments and voters agreed that things were on the up.
He argued the government needs to spend the next year connecting with voters on an emotional level.
Hope for the yachtless
In the City there are haves and have-yachts.
But there is hope for the merely wealthy, as opposed to those with the means to bob around the world on a multimillion-pound superyacht.
Sunborn International is to open two floating “superyacht hotels” in March. One in Gibraltar, and one near east London’s Royal Victoria Docks.
A “totally unique” experience is guaranteed, apparently.
Keep the rich underground
Building London’s controversial underground “iceberg” extensions is noisy work.
Just ask John Caudwell’s neighbours, after the Phones4U billionaire founder confirmed his plans to link his two Mayfair townhouses via a new 14,000 sq ft underground chamber.
Two months after Caudwell filed his planning application, a resident three doors down on the same street applied for double glazing.