Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex D

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr Roy Beggs MP

The Assignment date of the Memorial to the Register of Deeds was 23-1-1998 and arose frm instruction to O'Rorke, McDonald & Tweed Solicitors, 29 The Roddens, Larne, Co. Antrim in 1997 to transfer the property to my daughters.

Office rent was claimed from 1990-1991 and tax paid up to 31-3-1997 by myself and Mrs Beggs. Reference Office rent claimed for the years 1997-1998 to date. Half has been paid to * * * lodged in her business account and submitted along with earned income to accountant W S Miscampbell & Co, 6 Annadale Avenue, Belfast, BT7 3JH for assessment of total tax due.

Half has been paid to * * * who is employed as * * *. Her National Ins. No. is * * * and Tax Ref. * * * Belfast 1 Tax District and income has been declared for tax purposes.

I have not been paying tax or claiming allowances against the tax on the rental allowance and to the best of my knowledge my daughters have paid tax and claimed no allowances on the rent paid.

The Rent level is set after consultation with a local property letting company, taking account of Rent levels approved by the District Valuer determining the level of Housing Benefit contributed towards rent by the Housing Executive. Eg. Two bedroom flat/house rent charged £85- £95 per week approved contribution by District Valuer is £75 per week and additional cost is met by the tenant for rent above £75 weekly.

The property at 41, Station Road, Larne is equivalent to a four bedroom house, providing two offices, waiting area, interviewing area and storage rooms.

I will invite rent assessment by the Valuation and Lands Agency confident that value for money is being provided.

The property is and has been solely used as my constituency office and advice centre and no part has been let for any purpose.

The property was not deemed by me to be of "substantial value" and as it was no longer in my ownership when asked I confirmed that my register of interests was complete. I do not recollect the specific wording used in the last paragraph of your letter. If your question was in relation to past failure to register then I did not pick that up in the question put which I believe was addressing the accuracy of my current register of interests.

When I contacted Valuation and Lands Agency previously about Rent assessment they advised that a local valuer would advise. It may take a few more days to persuade Valuation & Lands Agency to carry out assessment to satisfactorily answer question 3.

20 June 2001

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