£14 Million Bill Includes VIP Travel and Hotel, Nail Polish, “Home Disco” and Books of Sturgeon’s Speeches

Scottish Labour have learned from their colleagues down South and published research on a staggering £14 million in Scottish government procurement spending. Although, judging by how well it went for Labour in Westminster, the strategy isn’t without its risks – some extraordinary examples of exuberant spending have been exposed. These include a staggering £10,000 on VIP travel services for Nicola Sturgeon and over £4,000 at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel.

The waste didn’t end there. Amongst the other purchases were:

  • Yoga classes
  • Nail polish
  • A driving theory test
  • A £272 pair of wellies
  • China crockery
  • A £27 “home disco”
  • Six copies of a book containing speeches by Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish civil service did make one much-needed purchase earning Guido’s approval. 21 Copies of a book titled ‘How To Run A Government So That Citizens Benefit And Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy’.

mdi-timer 8 August 2023 @ 16:32 8 Aug 2023 @ 16:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Welsh Government Wastes £440,000 Feeding Bugs to School Children

According to an FOI request, the Welsh Government has spent £440,082 of taxpayer cash on insects as an alternative food source. Of this, £349,960 was awarded in January 2018 to fund insect-based food for children. The “alternative protein”, called VeXo, was offered to children aged 5-11. It is said to look like mince and contains a combination of insect and plant-based proteins. 

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Education, Laura Anne Jones, was bugged by the revelation. She said:

“To learn that Labour have wasted more than £400,000 in providing bugs as an alternative food source is very concerning, Labour need to properly fund their free school meals and not waste money on dystopian futuristic meals for our children… Along with cutting the education budget in real terms this year, Labour instead prioritise this bizarre pet project. Children need nutritious affordable meals, preferably locally sourced, to sustain them through the school days and expensive bug farming is not the answer.”

If, for whatever reason, Welsh school children don’t enjoy their cockroach cuisine, Guido’s sure Matt Hancock would be happy to take it off their hands…

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First-Class Hypocrite Starmer Spaffed £250,000 on Luxury Flights and Chauffeur

During his time as Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer spent a quarter of a million pounds on luxury travel expenses. Documents published by Declassified UK reveal the extent of Starmer’s first and business class foreign travel – he jetted off to locations as far afield as Jamaica, Washington and Bangkok. His flight to Hong Kong alone set the taxpayer back £4,914…

Much of Keir’s travel bill came from his chauffeur driven motor, which cost over £161,273, used for his London commute from leafy Kentish Town to Central London – a mere four-mile trip. First class flying and emission-intensive commuting is hardly going to help us achieve Starmer’s vision for a “stronger green and digital future, by 2030”.

To put the Labour leader’s exuberance into context, his successor Alison Saunders, who served the same five-year term, expensed £67,340 on travel. Sir Keir spent over three times as much…

Read the full dossier of expenses below:

Read More

mdi-timer 13 April 2023 @ 10:56 13 Apr 2023 @ 10:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Recovers Just 1% of £1.1 Billion Covid Business Grant Fraud

Just when you thought the government’s record on recovering taxpayer cash lost to covid fraud couldn’t get much worse, the National Audit Office has revealed that they’ve recovered just £11.4 million of the £1.1 billion in covid business grant fraud. That’s a meagre 1%.

The government had previously said they hoped to recoup a quarter of the overall figure of lost cash – the new figures show they’re falling well below that on business grant fraud. Rishi also pledged the government would do “everything we can” to go after fraudsters. Clearly that isn’t enough…

A Business and Trade spokesperson said:

“This report confirms that our COVID-19 business grant schemes helped to secure millions of businesses and livelihoods through the pandemic – supporting jobs and the economy during unprecedented times. No amount of error and fraud is acceptable, and we are continuing to work hard to recover these funds where possible.”

This is the same line we’ve been hearing for a year now, including during Rishi’s leadership campaign. Clearly it isn’t happening. The report also points out there’s “little incentive” for councils to go after fraudsters either, because “all recovered monies must be paid back to central government.” Lost to the sands of time…

mdi-timer 24 March 2023 @ 12:35 24 Mar 2023 @ 12:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Just Two Government Departments Spend £300,000 on Taxis in One Year

In a week where civil servants joined the latest wave of strike action, Guido can reveal that just two Whitehall departments, Transport and Education, spent a combined £300,000 on taxis in 2022 alone. The figures, acquired through two FoI requests, add to prior calculations that found Whitehall wonks had spaffed £10,000,000 on taxis over three years. In good news for civil service efficiency, it only took them four times longer than the required 20 working days to respond…

The Department for Education were the worse offenders of the two. Despite having half the headcount of Transport, they spent five times as much on taxis – with a grand total of £258,668 in 2022-23. Transport spent £47,795.

The FoI requests also contained data on other expenses over 2021 and 2022: DfT spent £20,500 on eye care expenses and £650 on formal dress hire whilst Education spent £950 on honours ceremonies and garden parties. Total expenses for both departments over two years add to over £6,200,000. With such generous expenses, working arrangements, pay and pensions, it’s almost like civil service strike action is politically motivated…

mdi-timer 17 March 2023 @ 16:14 17 Mar 2023 @ 16:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Council Spaffs £33,000 on Corgi Statues, Sells Them for Just £2,000

Tory-led Broadland District Council have left the taxpayer more than £30,000 out of pocket after splashing out on seven Queen’s corgi statues and selling them for just a tenth of their original price. Having forked out £21,000 on the wicker pups – plus £11,635.80 on a “prestigious party in the park” for the jubilee and another £1,080 on repairs – the council shifted just four of the statues for a grand total of just £2,140. The prestigious party in the park, meanwhile, was attended by 360 people. Broadland has a population of 125,000…

Locals are now £31,575 out of pocket. Contributing to a council tax hike of 4.62% this year…

mdi-timer 1 March 2023 @ 17:28 1 Mar 2023 @ 17:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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