Sunday, August 05, 2007

Recent Bonfires 74

That will be £12 grand
In the even-sillier-than-usual season news this week-

£12k on probing towels hazard- "HEALTH and safety bureaucrats wasted £12,000 — studying BATH TOWELS. Boffins wanted to know if laying them on the bathroom floor makes you more or less likely to slip. But the Government-funded project failed to draw any conclusions. Astonishingly the boffins now want ANOTHER £12,000 of taxpayers’ cash to fund an extra YEAR of research." (Sun 4.8.07)

'Pointless relic' costs £6.6m pa- "THE Scotland Office has been branded the most pointless department in Whitehall after figures showed it received just 39 letters a year from MPs and peers, put out an average of only one press release a week yet managed to spend 32 per cent more on hospitality than in the previous year... Alistair Carmichael, the Lib Dems' Scotland spokesman said the Scotland Office was "more concerned with hosting soirées than communicating with Edinburgh... Employing 20 staff to write an average of two official letters each year is indefensible." The Scotland Office and Office of the Advocate General had a combined budget of £6.6 million last year." (Scotsman 3.8.07; htp The Huntsman)

Politicians chomp through £5m pa- "Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly have got a bit huffy in the past when people questioned the subsidy paid for Assembly eating places. During one 12-month period during suspension, the subsidy came to £308,591 - a fairly hefty sum. But Stormont still has some way to go to catch up with the Houses of Parliament. Catering facilities there have been bankrolled by the public purse to the tune of some £4.7m in a single year." (Belfast Telegraph 2.8.07)

Prezza spent £0.5m on fun- "JOHN Prescott’s office landed taxpayers with a “scandalous” bill of more than £500,000 for travel and hospitality, it was revealed yesterday. Accounts for the now-defunct Office of the Deputy Prime Minister showed the massive cost of visits and parties for Mr Prescott and his staff." (Sunday Express 4.8.07)

£100,000 for Donny Osmond concert- "SINGING star Donny Osmond’s homecoming concert came at a price to the taxpayers of Merthyr Tydfil – £100,000... Council leader Harvey Jones told the Echo he understood the overall cost of the event was "astronomical... We could have said ‘no, it’s too expensive’ but we looked at it. We thought ‘it’s Donny Osmond, a one-off’. It was a first for Merthyr"... but Merthyr Donny fan Julie Powell, a 46-year-old mother of two, said: “It’s a lot of money. I don’t think the council should have been asked to contribute and especially not that amount. It should have come out of the concert profits.” (Western Mail and Echo 24.8.07)

Total for week- £12,212,000

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