According to today's Daily Telegraph, Paul Goggins, the Northern Ireland Minister, shares his London flat, for which he claims £600 per month, with Chris Bain, a friend of his, who happens to be the Director of CAFOD.
According to CAFOD's latest accounts for the year up to 31 March 2008:
"In the year, the Director of CAFOD received remuneration of £71,258 plus an employer's contribution towards a money purchase pension scheme of £7,125." So he might be able to stretch to something a bit better than a bedsit in Catford out of his own pocket.
The story points out that Mr Bain used to pay rent from 1998 to 2003 - until Mr Goggins started to claim for the flat. In other words, once the taxpayer could take care of the rent, the Director of CAFOD lived rent free. Now that this has been discovered, they have decided that it is "inappropriate", and that they will repay a large amount.
If you can be bothered to read it, the story gets even messier but ends with a wonderful statement from the Minister:
“I do not have an extravagant lifestyle but I do have reasonable standards”, he said.
If anybody sees how the Tablet reports this, can they let us all know.