Sunday, June 03, 2007

Recent Bonfires 67

Fishy biz
In the news this week:

Suspect cops cost £10m pa- "HUNDREDS of cops suspected of crimes are sitting at home on full pay - at a cost to taxpayers of £10 MILLION a year... Many are highly-paid senior ranks, including a chief inspector. Some are civilian staff, others are the new Police Community Support Officers. Their alleged crimes include porn offences, assault, rape, possessing drugs and drink driving. One was suspected of attempted murder... 686 police workers were suspended on full pay in 2006. London's Metropolitan Police had the most, with 107 officers off duty... Many officers facing serious allegations are off the beat for months or even years. The average period of suspension is a staggering TEN MONTHS." (People 3.6.07)

£87m pa on MPs' fishtanks and iPods- "MEMBERS of parliament are using their taxpayer-funded expense accounts to buy iPods, plasma screen televisions and even, in one case, a fish tank, insiders allege. Finance administrators have been approving a wide array of executive gadgets despite widespread public concern about abuses of the parliamentary expenses system. MPs routinely claim thousands of pounds a year without having to produce receipts or other evidence that they have made any purchases... “Also, in the run-up to Christmas last year, a lot of MPs suddenly started claiming for iPods. The system really is outrageous.” The row over the £87m annual expenses bill erupted last month when MPs backed new legislation to exclude themselves from the Freedom of Information Act." (Sunday Times 3.6.07)

£1,147 council bonding session- "THE new executive board at East Lindsey District Council will enjoy a bonding session at Branston Hall, Lincoln, courtesy of the taxpayer at the weekend. The session will involve 14 people from the executive board and the management team, some of whom will be staying overnight...The event, which will take place on Sunday and Monday, will cost £1,147. Members can also claim travel expenses for the trip... The Skegness Standard questioned the council about what the two-day meeting was for and why it was taking place outside the district. ELDC communications officer James Gilbert said: "The meeting will provide an important team building opportunity for the council's newly appointed executive board." (Skegness Standard 30.5.07)

HIPs fiasco cost at least £7m- "The government's failed attempt to introduce Home Information Packs (HIPs) has cost taxpayers more than £7 million. Critics of the controversial scheme attacked the Government as "wasteful, incompetent and irresponsible" following the admission that its advertising campaign to promote the packs had cost £895,000, pushing the total spend on HIPs to £7.4 million. The total spend to date on the national marketing and advertising campaign to promote the Home Information Pack is £895,000... Earlier this year, data released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the Government had spent £6 million on external consultants to advise on the packs, £297,000 on "consumer research", £112,000 on "stakeholder events" and £95,000 on "information to stakeholders". (Sunday Telegraph 3.6.07)

Total for week: £104,001,147

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