Saturday, May 28, 2011

Councils Spend £100 Million on Taxpayer-funded Credit Cards

Despite being ordered to cut spending by almost 30 per cent, town hall chiefs have continued to lavish hundreds of thousands of pounds on dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants, leisure trips and expensive gifts including iPads and video games while slashing jobs and scrapping front-line services.

An investigation by The Daily Telegraph has uncovered details of apparently questionable spending decisions by councillors and local government officials, with more than £2 million spent on travel over the last three years, including flights to Thailand, Kenya and Bermuda.

Documents obtained by this newspaper show that the councils also spent £2m on hotel bills, including stays at the famous Four Seasons in New York, the five-star Pan Pacific in Singapore, and the Athens Hilton.

Hospitality bills totalling £2.6m were paid on the cards, including dinners at Claridges, one of Britain’s most expensive hotels, hog roasts and champagne receptions, as well as tens of thousands of pounds spent booking tables at award ceremonies.

A total of another £500,000 was spent on gifts such as Tiffany jewellery, Gucci products and pure silk ties, while online shopping sprees racked up bills of more than £300,000 at Argos and £150,000 at Amazon.'


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