Money in pocket, businessman putting euro banknotes in suit pocket, bribe and corrupution concept.

MPs in new scandal, “suspected of evading taxes”

Following on from the ‘ghost voting’ scandal that has whipped controversy through the halls of the republican assembly, MPs are now under suspicion of having evaded taxes on expenses they receive for transport.

Tax on several million euros is “at stake”, explains tabloid Correio da Manhã, suggesting transport expenses going back to 2004 are in question.

Raising the issue is the accounts court which has added to the general confusion by saying it believes there is a “high risk” that MPs receive transport expenses whether they go on the trips in question, or not.

The problem, explains CM, is that MPs appear able to receive expenses without putting in supporting paperwork.

Without the paperwork, the extra money instantly becomes ‘income’ and as such is taxable, maintains the accounts court.

Not so, says parliament’s administrative council.

And thus we arrive at a new ‘grey area’, hot-on-the-heels of the ruckus created over ‘ghost voting’ which is now proving a hit on Youtube (click here).

Today, one of the MPs who ‘clicked the presence’ of absent colleagues in parliamentary business has resigned all her roles within the PSD’s parliamentary group.

Maria das Mercês Borges has said, nonetheless, that the practice is nothing new, and ‘happens all the time’.

To this end, procedures are purportedly going to be ‘tightened up’.

As to the issues of transport expenses, the plan now is to create a new working group to “analyse” the accounts court’s ‘concerns’.

No one will be holding their breath to hear the results, though President Marcelo sounded the alert yesterday, referring to “specific episodes” that “could give the wrong sign to citizens from an ethical point of view”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com