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HMRC set to investigate MPs expenses

The tax authorities in the UK have announced the opening of an investigation into all MPs expenses in relation to property and potential capital gains tax issues. This is a problem which has been ongoing for some time, where MPs have been "flipping" the location of their first and second homes in order to maximise their MPs allowances while giving contradictory information to the tax authorities. There are allegations that many MPs have made hundreds of thousands of pounds in property gains, often facilitated by the MP's expenses system which is ultimately funded by the UK taxpayer.

This is the first time that HMRC has openly admitted that investigations are underway and there could potentially be high-profile prosecutions between now and the next general election. As we saw in the recent local and European elections, voters have been leaving the main parties, often in a vote of protest, and transferring to some of the more radical fringe parties. If we see high-profile tax prosecutions ahead of the next general election there are concerns that we could see a similar path trodden over the next 12 months.

Despite attempts by the UK government and parliament in general, the MPs expenses scandal appear set to roll on for many more months and could cause significant damage to both the government and opposition parties.

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