Tuesday, 30 December 2008

90K Gravy Train for the LIb-Lab-Con

A QUANGO has today been criticised after it splashed out almost £90,000 on entertaining politicians.The taxpayer-funded North West Regional Development Agency ran up the tab on wine, food, venues, hotels and organising events at the three main political party conferences this year.NWDA officials - in charge of regenerating the north west -- spent £31,218 at the Labour conference, held in Manchester in September.

Their political entertaining bill was more £30,000 above any of the other eight RDAs. The figures show that they splashed out £67,671 on the wine, food and venues alone.Thousands were also spent on hotel rooms and conference passes.The figures were obtained under freedom of information laws by The Taxpayers' Alliance.

This is a serious misuse of public money ! "RDAs were not created to buy wine and canapes for politicians but rather to improve regional economies. "They have failed to do this, and instead use taxpayers' money to win over political support. Such behaviour only strengthens the case for their abolition."

Paul Nuttall, chairman of the UK Independence Party and north west MEP candidate, described the spending as `absolutely bonkers'.

He said: "Why should the taxpayer be shelling out so fat cat politicians can be wined and dined? In total over £285,000 was spent on the three conferences by all nine RDAs.

RDAs were set up by the government in 1999 to `spread economic prosperity' and `bring fresh vitality' to their areas by encouraging investment.

A spokeswoman for the NWDA said their figure was the highest among the RDAs because they had been the chair of all the agencies this year and had to organise extra events, and people should expect the same figure for next year as the Conservative conference was coming to town.