Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ed Balls’s office passed fine dining bills to taxpayers - Telegraph

'Ed Balls' ministerial office spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on fine-dining at smart hotels and restaurants, £150-worth of takeaways from Domino's pizza and shopping at department store chain John Lewis.

Spending on Mr Balls' office credit card has been released covering the period when he was Schools secretary from 28 June 2007 to 11 May 2010.
However Mr Balls's staff also charged a £1,480 jaunt to New York, comprising more than £600 at the sumptuous Benjamin Hotel in Manhattan.
The New York trip, for three nights in April 2009, also included a bill for more than £820 to eat at the 200-seat Bar Americain, Typical dishes include Shrimp-Tomatillo, Crab-Coconut and Lobster-Avocado Shellfish Cocktails.

The receipts for spending on the Government Procurement Card also include a couple of orders from Domino's Pizza, totalling over £150, in December 2008, as well a single meal costing £450 at the Cinnamon Club, an upmarket Indian restaurant.

Other sums include £165 on two occasions at John Lewis, and £420 at La Maison du Cygne, a restaurant in Brussels.'

So it seems that not only did the last Labour government max out the nation's credit card leaving behind a toxic legacy of debt, but Ed Balls and maybe other Labour Ministers turned a blind eye while their staff spent big on their government procurement cards.

It's of course amusing that these figures only emerged after Labour MP Tom Watson launched a Freedom of Information request to examine the spending by the Department of Education since the 2010 general election. The Department of Education complied but also went back a little further when they released the information, nicely played indeed...

I wonder how the ever delightful Ed Balls feels about Tom Watson now. I suppose they could always have a chat over a hopefully non-taxpayer funded lunch.

More on this at which is where the quotes are taken from.

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