‘Cash Strapped’ Councils Order New Bentleys

Research by the Taxpayer’s Alliance has found that three UK councils have bought luxury top-of-the range Bentleys for their mayors. Lucky mayors Councillor Alex Black (Lord Mayor of Chester), Councillor Lesley Smetham (Mayor of Cheshire East), and Councillor Marie-Therese Rossi (Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) get to swan around in the opulent vehicles, which sell from at least £132,800. Lucky them.

Other luxury cars used by councils’ mayors include the Audi A8 (from £69,415), BMW 7 (from £63,040), Jaguar XJ (from £62,360), Mercedes S class (from £70,470) and the Lexus RX (from £48,655). Don’t let your council tell you there’s no room to make savings…

mdi-timer 22nd August 2018 @ 4:10 pm 22nd Aug 2018 @ 4:10 pm mdi-comment Comments
EU Budget Latest: €2 Million for “Private Storage of Cheese”

The European Parliament adopted amendments on the draft EU budget this week. A line-by-line breakdown of spending proposals was circulated to MEPs – it’s eye-watering even by the EU’s troughing standards. €2 million for “private storage of certain cheeses” really grates, as well as €700,000 for a “manual of good practices for cruises”. All-time-classics of outrageous splurging…

Independent MEP Steven Woolfe said:

“The EU is actually a parody of itself. If the British people needed further reminding of why they voted to leave the EU last year it’s set out in black and white in this year’s budget. ‘Ocean literacy for all’, a ‘Manual of good practices for cruises’!? The mind boggles. Presumably, the ten million Euros spent on ‘storage measures for skimmed-milk powder’ is to ensure that, in the event of a nuclear holocaust, Eurocrats in Brussels will still be able to enjoy a white Americano as they slowly die from radiation poisoning…”

Roll on 2019…

mdi-timer 27th October 2017 @ 5:01 pm 27th Oct 2017 @ 5:01 pm mdi-comment Comments
Welsh Government’s £1.8 Million Credit Card Splurge

The eye-watering £1.8 million credit card bill run up by the Welsh Labour government is exposed today, revealing how jet-setting civil servants are travelling the globe in 5*luxury while taxpayers pick up the tab. In total, £1,838,679 was spent on Welsh Government credit cards in 2016-17, up from £1.4 million last year. The extraordinary litany of waste would not look out of place on the bank statement of a Hollywood A-lister, but instead the extravagances are enjoyed by faceless Cardiff bureaucrats:

  • £203,644 was spent on flights;
  • £110,889 went on 4* and 5* luxury hotels;
  • When events are included, the hotel bill rises to £141,880, including a whopping £14,480 on exhibitions in the 5* Shanghai Peace Hotel;
  • £1876 went on on limousines;
  • £5418 was spent on Uber;
  • £3,028 was spent on yachting and boating;
  • £8604 was spent on luxury dining – with £1,652 alone being spent on 7 visits to the Michelin-starred James Sommerin Restaurant in Penarth (6 course taster menu £70, rising to £110 with wine; 9 course tasting menu is £90, rising to £150 with wine; the cheapest main course is £17 and the Welsh Lamb is £26);
  • £359 went on Nom Nom Chocolate, where a single bar costs £4.50;
  • £110 was spent on iTunes,

Shadow Finance Secretary, Nick Ramsay, said:

“The bill for Welsh Government credit cards is out of control. The purpose of these cards is to reduce the bureaucratic cost of processing small claims – not to make it easy to splash the cash with impunity in lavish restaurants and boutique hotels. Worryingly, since 2011, staff in the Welsh Labour Government have racked up over £9 million in credit card bills and it’s time for the system to be thoroughly investigated by the Auditor General.”

Welsh Labour is presiding over a bonfire of taxpayers’ cash…

mdi-timer 8th September 2017 @ 2:56 pm 8th Sep 2017 @ 2:56 pm mdi-comment Comments
Government Values Guardian Readers Most Highly

per-reader

Stephen Doughty, the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, is complaining that the government has spent some £5 million on advertising in the Tory press. By which he really means advertising in the popular press, the Daily Mail and The Sun get the most advertising revenue because they sell the most papers. Doughty says “I personally don’t think it’s appropriate to see extensive government advertising alongside homophobic headlines or the sort of language we last saw in the 1930s.” The snowflake left are rallying around advertising boycotts of publications they don’t like. 

Guido took a look at the same data in a different way; how much does it cost to to reach an individual reader? On that basis the government overpays to reach a Guardian reader (£2.15), 12 times what it pays to reach a Mirror reader (£0.18). Now Whitehall may have different objectives, Guido suspects it is advertising for more diversity officers on Guardian’s job pages and telling Mirror readers to claim benefits, stop drinking and eating sugar on the tabloid’s pages. Or possibly they are just over-paying to reach broadsheet readers…

mdi-timer 5th December 2016 @ 5:06 pm 5th Dec 2016 @ 5:06 pm mdi-comment Comments
Lights on in Brussels But Nobody’s Home

lights

Over in Brussels, the European Parliament’s grandiose Altiero Spinelli building is shuttered up with the Eurocrats and their bag-carriers off on summer holidays. Inside the 17-storey high-rise office block resembles a scene from an apocalyptic horror movie, not a person in sight. That hasn’t stopped them from leaving all the lights on. You won’t meet your carbon emissions targets like that…

Pics via Bill Etheridge
mdi-timer 11th August 2016 @ 10:32 am 11th Aug 2016 @ 10:32 am mdi-comment Comments
Taxpayer Billed Six Figures to Restore Whitehall Art

Guido has got hold of the bill for restoring the art decorating Whitehall departments. In the last two years alone the taxpayer has spent £168,515 touching up 829 paintings and sculptures. Many of the restorations couldn’t be valued so the real figure will be much higher. 

The frame and canvas of this oil painting of Charles II needed restoring. Cost to the taxpayer: £14,344.

Taxpayers also spent £6,747 repairing this large lump of bronze (above). And over five grand for this strange bowl thing:

Unbelievably, repairing this neon sign cost over two grand:

The government art collection is believed to be worth several BILLION pounds and most of it is never seen by the taxpayers who own it. Wouldn’t it be better to sell it off to galleries and ease cutbacks elsewhere?

mdi-timer 12th October 2015 @ 1:50 pm 12th Oct 2015 @ 1:50 pm mdi-comment Comments
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