Voters voice anger at Ruffley claims

ANGER has been vented by voters who yesterday learned their MP had tried to claim more than �2,000 for a television and �3,000 for a bedstead.

ANGER has been vented by voters who yesterday learned their MP had tried to claim more than �2,000 for a television and �3,000 for a bedstead.

Some shoppers in Bury St Edmunds, which has been David Ruffley's constituency since 1997, branded his expenses claims - which included �1,674 for a sofa and �800 a piece for two bedside cabinets - “ridiculous” and “selfish”.

While some blamed Mr Ruffley and his fellow MPs for lodging such claims, others said the whole system was equally at fault and needed a radical overhaul.

Bury shopper Ashley Buchan said he was angry to learn of his own MPs' expenses.


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He said: “They've all been getting too much money when they don't really do that much. It is just stupid and these (expenses) claims are just ridiculous.”

His partner Kayla Marriott accused questioned why the MP had been one of the 98 who tried to make members of parliament exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

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Brian Dawson, who lives in Lavenham, said he blamed the system as much as the MPs and called for a radical overhaul to the entire expenses regime in Government.

“What these items show is that the whole system stinks. They go behind the cloak of being able to say 'we've not done anything wrong'.”

Fellow Bury shopper Glyndwr Davies said: “It should be more strategically controlled. And they should not be allowed to charge for items that most of us would have to pay for out of our salaries.

“The system has been abused. It should be dealt with within the parties - it should be coming from the top and there should be tighter controls of things.”

Speaking generally about the revelations over some MPs' expenses elsewhere in the UK, Mr Davies said: “I am not beyond thinking there should be prosecutions over this.”

None of the Tory cabinet members on St Edmundsbury Borough Council or the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association was willing to comment on Mr Ruffley's expenses.

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