|Maria Miller leaves the Houses of Parliament after apologising to MPs. Photo Warren Allott/Telegraph|
It is now clear why Mrs Miller was so positive about "being able to live freely" in "the society that we want to live in." She had experience of living freely at the expense of the tax-payer.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found that the Culture Minister had over-claimed by £45,000 for expenses towards mortgage interest payments and council tax but the Commons Standards Committee ruled that Mrs Miller should repay only £5,800 and apologise to parliament for her "attitude".
The Prime Minister regards that as reasonable for an 'honest mistake'. He said, "It was found she had made mistakes, she accepted that, repaid the money, she apologised unreservedly to the House of Commons, so I think we should leave it there." His comments will make 'the hard working people of this country' wonder why there is one law for the privileged and another for the rest of us. As one MP remarked, "If one of my constituents had claimed £6,000 of taxpayers' money for, say, housing benefit and then tried to claim that it was an oversight, that she hadn't realised that she wasn't entitled to this money, the book would be thrown at my constituent, rightly."