Sunday, June 24, 2007

Recent Bonfires 68

In the news this week:

£50,000 for dangerous road signs- "Motorists are going round the bend after a barmy artist spent taxpayers cash on putting up ten random road signs at a busy junction. The art installation - part of a series of outdoor shows which pocketed a £50,000 grant from the Arts Council - has been slammed as "ridiculous" and "dangerous" by drivers and transport chiefs. The artwork, which includes signs such as one-way, mini-roundabout, no entry and 30mph, was erected on a busy ring-road in Ashford, Kent this week." (Mail 22.6.07)

Early release convicts get £4.5m compensation- "Prisoners released early are to receive a cash payout of up to £172 to compensate them for loss of bed and board, the Government has said. Some 25,500 prisoners are expected to be released up to 18 days early to solve the prisons overcrowding crisis, and will receive cash payments totalling £4.5m. The payments - equivalent to £10 each day - are intended to cover living costs during the time the ex-convicts would have been in prison because legally, as prisoners, they cannot receive benefits." (Express 23.6.07)

£1.5m bonuses for senior health bureaucrats- "Nearly £1.5 million was paid in bonuses to 231 "senior" civil servants in the Department of Health and related agencies last financial year, a rise of 29 per cent. During the same year, 27,000 NHS posts were cut, with widespread redundancies. Katherine Murphy, from the Patients Association, said: "If everything was rosy in the NHS these people would deserve the money. It's not." (Sunday Telegraph 24.6.07)
Prescott keeps £100,000 pa flat- "JOHN PRESCOTT is to be allowed to remain in his grace-and-favour flat at Admiralty House in Whitehall after leaving the government this week. He has lived in one of the three luxury flats reserved for ministers in Admiralty House since 1997. The unusual arrangement to stay on is set to be challenged as the flat is estimated to cost the taxpayer £100,000 a year. Tax experts claim he should face a hefty bill on the accommodation as he can no longer claim it is an essential perk of his job." (Sunday Times 24.6.07)
Council spends £95,000 on box at Dome- "When council bosses in Greenwich announced £24million of budget cuts, local taxpayers thought it would be case of belt-tightening all round. So it might surprise them to learn that £95,000 of their cash has been spent on a luxury box at the Millennium Dome. Councillors and staff will have one year's exclusive use of the 15-seat glassfronted suite at the controversial building in South-East London. From the comfort of sofas, they will be able to watch concerts by Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Prince. The lease starts on Saturday - just in time for Sunday's Bon Jovi concert, which is the first at the arena renamed as the O2." (Mail 22.6.07)
This week's total- £6,245,000

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