In yesterday's Telegraph, apropos "expenses", there is an account of how one MP had "a huge row with the Commons authorities when he tried to submit a full set of receipts with his expenses. He was told he would be setting a dangerous precedent for his colleagues."
Which brought to mind a story a friend of mine told me about when as a young man he had just started work for a big, well-known finance company. He was called before his boss who had in front of him my friend's expenses for the last month.
"Your expenses...." said the boss.
Before he could continue my friend said: "I'm sorry sir, perhaps I could have cut them down a bit."
"Cut them down!" exclaimed the boss. "Lift them up, rather; you're going to make the rest of us look bloody greedy."
So from then on, he told me, it was: "Waiter, another bottle of that delightful champagne if you please."