All this talk about 'scandals' involving politician's allowances. Just thought I'd post my take on this - which amounts to a contemptuous grunt. I daresay most politicians, who bought properties in London or Cardiff several years ago have made a tidy profit as a result of the market rising. Now, when I read of calls for this 'profit' to be repaid to the taxpayer, I reflect on how nice it would be to hear similar calls for any losses incurred as a result of the market falling to be covered.
Because I live about 2-3 hours from Cardiff, I bought a rather nice flat in Cardiff Bay about three years ago when the market was sizzling. While I was an Assembly Member, the taxpayer covered the interest on the loan - well, on most of it anyway. In fact, I chose to buy a better flat than the allowance covered, so I had to fund quite a bit of the interest myself. If I'd sold the flat immediately I lost my seat, I would have lost several thousand pounds. So - to those who complain about the profits, I say "sympathise about the losses".
The reason this came to mind today is that the Wales on Sunday has the most depressing report in today's edition about the property market in Cardiff Bay. Because we liked our flat, we've kept it on. So you can understand how I feel, reading about values which have dropped by 10% in the last year - and how I snorted derisively when the American company which was given planning permission for a 33 story new flats development in Cardiff Bay last week said that he was confident they would all sell quickly. Or are we creating a slum of the future, as the WoS piece suggests is possible. Only way to look at these things is "You win some. You lose some!"