With the a spoof “Francis Maude advice” Twitter account (@FrancisMaudeAdv) satirising the Cabinet Office minister’s dangerous suggestions on petrol storage, perhaps we can also take some influence from the real Francis Maude: getting the taxpayer to pick up the tab for late payment of bills.
The millionaire minister was threatened with legal action after failing to pay thousands of pounds worth of bills on time at his London home.
Landlords were owed a whopping £2,600 and Maude was threatened with termination notices due to late payments on his bills. The landlords’ letter to Maude warned that the longer he waited, the more he would have to pay:
“We request that you settle the amount outstanding within 14 days of the date of this reminder in order to avoid incurring additional costs or further legal action.”
Documents unearthed by David Hencke show that Maude’s £188 gas bill was also over a month late, and British Gas sent letters asking if Maude was struggling to make ends meet.
The termination notices came after Maude failed to pay a £36 telephone bill and his electricity supplier encouraged him to sign up for Direct Debit to prevent him forgetting to pay.
And the worst part? Maude didn’t have to pay a penny himself — it could all be claimed back on parliamentary expenses.