Delhi to London: The austerity drive

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Delhi to London: The austerity drive
London:  He is the Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords, and one of the wealthiest men in Britain, who owns several apartments in the expensive heart of the London.

Why has he then, since 2004, claimed 110,000 pounds as housing allowance for living outside London?

It has reignited the angry debate whether taxpayers in the country should fund peers living in London when they already have property here.

Rules say MPs can claim housing allowance if they are living outside London. And since the Lord shifted to this country mansion, a few years ago, his claim is legal.

"When rules get changed, I will not take it. But until then, this is completely under the rules," said Lord Swraj Paul.

His expense sheet has triggered a moral debate, that started when the Telegraph broke the MPs Expenses Scandal earlier this year. The expose leaked details of lavish and fake expenses claimed by British lawmakers.

As an angry British public demands stricter rules on how MPs should spend taxpayers' money, a salaries review body has been formed to change the law.

Back in Lord Swaraj Paul's country of birth, after Indian Express broke the story of how a minister wanted the government to pay for his five-star hotel stay, the ruling party has launched a so-called austerity drive, which unfortunately won't translate into a change in law.

Everything has happened in India - economy travels, meals at aam admi eateries, and new-found affection for humble living. And we're not even mentioning that it's an election year!

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