A Tory MP who has been forced down over expenses has claimed that people were jealous of his big house. Of course there might be some envy flying around - but in general people accept that if you pay for things yourself you can have as large a house as you like. It's only when you get ordinary taxpayers on low incomes to pay for it through their taxes that it becomes a problem.
The second home allowance was designed to help MPs conduct their parliamentary duties and look after their constituents as well as attend Parliament. They can have as large a main house as they like, as they are paying for it themselves, but do they need a massive second home? Wouldn't a modest three-bed or four-bed in the constituency do to enable them to conduct their constituency duties?
And we come to David Cameron's £750,000 second home in Oxfordshire. The Daily Mail, actually raised this issue last year. It's worth having a look at the photo of Cameron's house.
Does he really need something that large to carry out his constituency duties and should he have charged the taxpayer for it?
Cameron bought the second home when he got elected in 2001. Here's what Cameron has claimed on his second home alowances since then (mostly mortgage interest):
No doubt Tories will swarm on here accusing me of class envy - but he's welcome to have as big a house as possible as long as I don't have to pay for it. It's not clear to me that he needed such a large house to do his constituency duties, he clearly bought the biggest one he could at the taxpayers expense and clearly intends to make a profit from it by selling after he has left parliament whenever that is. Thus he is as guilty of taking the taxman for a ride as some of the other cases we have heard.